Monday, July 30, 2012

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Book of Deuteronomy 32:18-19.20.21. 

You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you,
You forgot the God who gave you birth.
When the LORD saw this, he was filled with loathing
And anger toward his sons and daughters.

"I will hide my face from them," he said,
"And see what will then become of them.
What a fickle race they are,
Sons with no loyalty in them!"

"Since they have provoked me with their 'no-god'
And angered me with their vain idols,
I will provoke them with a 'no-people';
With a foolish nation I will anger them."

Sans Commentaire...

Livre du Deutéronome 32,6bc.18.19-20ab.21

Peuple stupide et sans sagesse,
n'est-ce pas le Seigneur, ton père, qui t'a crée ?
Tu oublies le Rocher qui t'a mis au monde
le Dieu qui t'a engendré, tu le dédaignes.

Le Seigneur l'a vu : et de colère
il a repoussé ses fils et ses filles.
Il a dit : « Je leur cacherai ma face,
et je verrai ce qui leur arrivera.

« Ils m'ont bravé par un dieu de rien,
exaspéré par leurs vaines idoles,
je vais les braver par un peuple de rien,
les exaspérer par des gens stupides.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Coucoumelle Inc

Certain things happened at my part-time job which led me to seriously consider quitting.  It turns out that I did not have to quit, because I was fired instead, with no real explication why (although I have a few hunches).  I was more than happy to leave, it saved me the bother of going through agonizing weeks of "Do I continue and see if it gets better even though I don't foresee it getting better soon or do I quit now?"

I suppose that this was God's not so gentle nudge out the door and through a new one.  This particular job experience gave me the desire to work for myself, at something I LIKE to do.

For years now, people have been telling me I should make pinatas to sell.  So I decided I would start up my own business, making pinatas, painting pictures, and sewing things to sell.

It took awhile to finally come up with a logo that I liked, that looked professional. I wanted it to be something mushroom-y because the coucoumelle is a mushroom. I also wanted it to look artsy. I was finally inspired by this photo on the internet.  I cropped it so you could see just the underside and part of the stem, and that's when the idea of this round image with the ridges of the mushroom like spokes around the stem came to me. It's the perfect image as each spoke is a different shade, which kind of reminds one of tints, shades and tones of paint.  From this perspective it is also reminiscent of a painter's palette, which is exactly what I wanted.  I'd been trying to do something like this for awhile now, but it never looked quite right.

Coucoumelle is a user name I came up with after perusing the French dictionary one day, in search of a random word to use for a Neopets account.  I never did much with the neopets account, but I liked the word Coucoumelle for two reasons.  I liked it because it has "cou cou" in it, which, in French, means "peek-a-boo!"  I thought that was pretty spiffy for a username, so when I signed up on the group Mothering with Grace, that became my username there.  By the time I signed up for myspace, Bebo and facebook, Coucoumelle had become my alter ego.  I also liked the name because my husband is an amateur mushroom-picker.  He took a course at university on mushrooms and learned which ones are good to eat and which ones are not.  The name Coucoumelle reminds me of him.

So far I have finished 3 pinatas (almost done 2 more) and 3 gift/tote bags. (I am working on a 4th bag as well).  I have plans to do some painting and maybe some gift cards as well (using scrapbooking techniques). I also made some pot holders and will probably work on some place mats and other kitchen/eating accessories.  To the list of bags, I want to add activity bags (that come with matching pencil cases) and drawstring goodie bags.

Some of the stuff I've made so far:  pinatas, gift bags that double
as tote bags, and pot-holders

Gideon's Story

My three youngest went to Vacation Bible School at Union Bible Church (Alburgh, Vt) last week.  The theme this year was bugs.  The sub-theme was change.  God changes bugs.  Caterpillars become beautiful butterflies.  If we choose to let God into our hearts, if we choose to obey his words, God will transform our lives as well.

For each day (Monday to Friday) there was a story from the Bible about how God changed the lives of 5 (or 6) different people.  Monday was Joshua, Tuesday was Gideon, Wednesday was Ruth and Naomi, Thursday was Zacchaeus and Friday was Paul.

Now this is not the first time I've heard Gideon's story, but it is perhaps the first time I paid real attention to it.  It's not one of the better-known stories of the Bible, but it would make an awesome movie, for those who like special effects, supernatural happenings, and unexpected twists and endings.  God has an awesome sense of humour, and a talent for keeping us in suspense.  :)

Here's the story (from wikipedia) :

As is the pattern throughout the book of Judges, the Israelites again turned away from God after 40 years of peace brought by Deborah's victory overCanaan and were allowed to be oppressed by the neighboring Midianites and Amalekites. God chose Gideon, a young man from the tribe of Manasseh, to free the people of Israel and to condemn their worship of idols.
Very unsure of both himself and God's command, he requested proof of God's will by three miracles: firstly a sign from an angel in Judges 6:16ff, and then two signs involving a fleece, performed on consecutive nights and the exact opposite of each other:
36 Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken, 37 behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken.” 38 And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water. 39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.” 40 God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.(Judges 6:36–40, New American Standard Bible)
On God's instruction, Gideon destroyed the town's altar to the foreign god Baal and the symbol of the goddess Asherah beside it. He went on to send out messengers to gather together men from the tribes of AsherZebulun, and Naphtali, as well as his own tribe Manasseh in order to meet an armed force of the people of Midian and the Amalek that had crossed the Jordan River and were encamped in the Valley of Jezreel.
However, God informed Gideon that the men he had gathered were too many – with so many men, there would be reason for the Israelites to claim the victory as their own instead of acknowledging that God had saved them. God first instructed Gideon to send home those men who were afraid. Gideon then allowed any man who wanted to leave, to leave; 22,000 men returned home and 10,000 remained. Yet the number was still too many, according to God:
4But the Lord said to Gideon, "There are still too many men. Take them down to the water, and I will sift them for you there. If I say, 'This one shall go with you, he shall go; but if I say, this one shall not go with you, he shall not go." 5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the Lord told him, "Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink." 6Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. 7 The Lord said to Gideon, "With the 300 men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place.(Judges 7:4–7, NIV Bible)
During the night God instructed Gideon to approach the Midianite camp. Gideon overheard a Midianite man tell a friend of a dream in which God had given the Midianites over to Gideon. Gideon worshiped God for His encouragement and revelation. Gideon returned to the Israelite camp and gave each of his men a trumpet (shofar)[2] and a clay jar with a torch hidden inside. Divided into three companies, Gideon and the three hundred marched on the enemy camp.
17"Watch me," he told them. "Follow my lead. When I get to the edge of the camp, do exactly as I do. 18When I and all who are with me blow our trumpets, then from all around the camp blow yours and shout, 'For the Lord and for Gideon.' " .... 20The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, "A sword for the Lord and Gideon!" 21While each man held his position around the camp, all the Midianites ran, crying out as they fled. 22When the three hundred trumpets sounded, the Lord caused the men throughout the camp to turn on each other with their swords. (Judges 7:17–22, NIV Bible)

Gideon's fleece, as symbol of Mary, in a "Hunt of the UnicornAnnunciation" (ca. 1500) from a Netherlandish book of hours. For the complicated iconography, seeHortus Conclusus.
Gideon sent messengers ahead into Israel calling for the Ephriamites to pursue the retreating Midianites and two of their leaders, Oreb and Zeeb. Gideon and the three hundred pursued Zebah and Zalmunna, the two Midianite kings. When he had asked for assistance in his pursuit, the men of Succoth and Peniel refused and taunted Gideon. After capturing the two kings, Gideon punished the men of Succoth, and pulled down the tower of Peniel killing all the men there. Finally, Gideon himself killed Zebah and Zalmunna as justice for the death of his brothers.
The Israelites pleaded with Gideon to be their king, but he refused, telling them that only God was their ruler. Interestingly, however, he carries on to make an "ephod" out of the gold won in battle, which causes the whole of Israel again to turn away from God. Gideon had 70 sons from the many women he took as wives. He also had a concubine who bore him a son that he named Abimelech (which means "my father is king"). There was peace in Israel for forty years during the life of Gideon. As soon as Gideon died of old age, the Israelites again turned to worship the false god Baal-Berith and ignored the family of Gideon.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012