Pictures from Wasioja Civil War Days

I had the opportunity this weekend to reenact in Wasioja, MN at their Civil War days. Here are a few pictures from the event.

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Harp CD Announcement

This Is My Father's World CD

I am happy to announce the release of my first CD! It is titled This is My Father’s World. It is a collection of hymns played on the harp and the running time is approximately a half an hour.  Mp3 Downloads and Hard copies of the Cd are available on CD Baby. Mp3 Downloads are also available on amazon.com.

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Spring, Photography, and a Husky

The snow has been melting at our house which has created a small brook running through our yard. I saw my husky playing in the water and ran outside to get a few shots. Here they are:

 

 

 

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Ann Hasseltine Judson quote on Missions

“Still, were it not for the support we derived from the gospel of Jesus, we should be ready to sink down in despondency in view of the dark and gloomy scenes around us. But when we recollect that Jesus has commanded his disciples to carry the gospel to the heathen, and promised to be with them to the end of the world; that God has promised to give the heathen to his Son as an inheritance, we are encouraged to make a beginning, though in the midst of discouragement, and leave it to Him to grant success in his own time and way.” – Ann Hasseltine Judson, wife of Adoniram Judson, Missionary to Burma

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1930′s Quilt and the Heritage of Quilting

Finished 1930's quilt.

This past weekend my cousin and I had the opportunity to finished a quilt that was begun in the 1930s. We purchased the quilt blocks at an antique shop  and determined it would be an interesting challenge to finished the project. The quilt blocks were accompanied by a newspaper clipping that contained a pattern. The quilter who had begun the quilt had finished the pieced blocks but had not gotten around to the embroidery portion of the quilt. After we embroidery the quilts blocks I pieced the remainder of the quilt on my treadle showing machine. The final step was to tie the quilt and that was finished this last weekend. The project got me thinking a little bit about the history and legacy of quilt making…

Quilts have a long and fascinating part of American history. Families have snuggled beneath quilts as they read inspiring stories of adventure, risk, and kingdom building. Quilts traveled in covered wagons as the pioneer families settled the frontiers. Every little scrap of fabric to be found was sewn into quilts and blankets by the resourceful southern women during the War Between the States. Quilts also were sewn from scraps left over from the famed “Flower Sack” dresses of the Depression era of the 1930′s. Quilts express the wonderful ideas of multigenerational thinking and  resourcefulness – they remind us of our tasks of dominion under Jesus Christ and our heritage as Christians. They also brighten our home and serve the practical purposes of warmth and comfort.

I have quilts that were made for me by my great-grandmother and my grandmother. They remind me of my own heritage, and remind me of the Providence of God, and His kindness towards me. I’d like leave a similar legacy for my own children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren: I’d like to pass down to them a legacy of resourcefulness and dominion-minded womanhood.

 

Categories: Reflections, Sewing | 3 Comments

Hazardous Journey: Burma

I’m am happy to announce the launch of the Burma expedition website! Please take a moment to explore my brothers’ most resent project!

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Event in the Life of Fanny Gordon

The following is recorded by Confederate General Gordon:

To my horror, as I rode among my disorganized troops through Winchester I found Mrs. Gordon on the street, where shells from [Union General William T.] Sheridan’s batteries were falling and minie balls flying around her. She was apparently unconscious of the danger. I had supposed that, in accordance with instructions, she had gone to the rear at the opening of the battle, and was many miles away. But she was stopping at the house of her friend Mrs. Hugh Lee, and as the first Confederates began to pass to the rear, she stood upon the veranda, appealing to them to return to the front. Many yielded to her entreaties and turned back – one waggish fellow shouting aloud to his comrades: “Come, boys, let’s go back. We might not obey the general, but we can’t resist Mrs. Gordon.” The fact is, it was the first time in all her army experience that she had ever seen the Confederate lines broken. As the different squads passed, she inquired to what command they belonged. When, finally, to her question the answer came, “We are Gordon’s men,” she lost her self-control, and rushed into the street, urging the them to go back and meet the enemy. She was thus engaged when I found her. I insisted that she go immediately into the house, where she would be at least partially protected. She obeyed; but she did not for a moment except my statement that there was nothing left for her except capture by Sheridan’s army. I learned afterward that her negro driver had been frightened by the shells bursting about the stable, and had not brought her carriage and horses. When acquainted some of my men with these facts. With the assurance, “We’ll get it for you Mrs. Gordon,” the broke down the fence and brought the carriage to her a few moments after I had passed on. She sprang into it, and taking six-year-old Frank and one or two wounded officers with her, she was driven rapidly away amidst the flying missiles from Sheridan’s advancing troops and with the prayers of my brave men for her safety.

(Quoted from Women at Gettysburg by E.F. Conklin, pg. 29)

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Tutorial: Making a Skirt Out of Jeans

I have had a number of friends inquire about how I make my skirts. I thought I’d share this online in the hopes that other people might find it helpful. This will explain (hopefully…) how to make a nice denim skirt out of two pairs of jeans.

To begin you’ll need two pairs of jeans (if you want a fuller skirt boot cut jeans work well) the size that you want your skirt.

To begin rip out the inside seem of both pair of pants:

Now take  the  first pair of jeans and cut the legs off right below the pockets:

With the second pair of jeans rip-out the front and back seam part way up:

Take one of the leg pieces from the first pair of jeans and tuck it inside the second pair of jeans like this:

Turn the raw edge of the second pair of jeans to the inside of the skirt:

Line up the hem line of  the second pair of jeans and leg piece from the first pair and pin it in place:

Pin the middle back seam of the second pair of jeans to the middle seam of the legs piece from the first pair of jeans:


Make sure that the edge lies smoothly then pin the rest of it in place like so:

When pinned the the inside of the skirt should look like this:

Next sew very closely to the folded edge on the outside of the second jeans:

It should look like this when it is sewn:

Next turn the skirt inside out and trim off the excess fabric near the seam:

Follow the same steps for the front of the skirt:

Once both sides of the skirt are finished trim off the hem edge of the skirt:

Finally hem the skirt to the desired length:

Categories: Sewing | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Lac qui Parle Music Video

Over 150 years ago, an act of obedience took a man and his family into the western wilderness of Minnesota to preach the gospel of Christ’s Kingdom among the Dakota Indians. Out of the work of God through the ministry of Stephen Riggs, a song of worship to the Creator based on Jeremiah 10:12-13 sprang from the regenerate hearts of once-savage men. Lac qui Parle, written in 1846 by Joseph R. Renville as a Dakota hymn, takes its name from the lake near the mission called Lac qui Parle (Lake that Talks) for the myriads of birds and wildlife that lived there.

The Lenz Quintet, along with Koleesa Amundson revive the hymn of another generation in an arrangement of the native Dakota air. Filmed on location at the historic Lac qui Parle mission site in western Minnesota, this short film seeks to honor the memory and work of the Christian missionaries who devoted their lives to laboring among the Dakota people in order to instruct them in the Law of God.

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The Messianic Nature of the Modern American Superhero

Man of Steel, 2013

For the last hundred years heroes have been a major part of American culture; we have film heroes, political heroes, etc., but one type of hero has been of great importance to generations of Americans—that is the superhero. The superhero has had a large influence in defining and shaping American culture; since the superheroes creation he has been a dominating force in America. He has been discipling generations in their understanding of right and wrong and he has been teaching them and instructing them concerning his view of morality. If the superhero is discipling and guiding many Americans this should makes us consider what he is teaching them. Is he encouraging the generations to follow after Jesus Christ? Or is he fighting to attain autonomy, and salvation apart from Christ?

The debut of Superman, a figure acknowledged by most to be the quintessential icon of American heroism, in 1938 is considered by historians to be the first appearance of the american archetypal Comic-book superhero. Superman was the creation of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and first appears in Action Comic #1 on April 18th, 1938.  The familiar story followed the adventures of a superpowered Kryptonian who lived a double life: one life as Superman the great protector and defender of Metropolis, and secondly as his alter ego Clark Kent the “mild mannered reporter.”

Action Comic #1, 1938

The years that followed Superman’s genesis saw the introduction of many new superheroes, including the creation of Batman in 1939, The Flash in 1940, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, and Captain America in 1941 , The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man in 1962, and Iron Man in 1963 – to name only a small portion of the plethora of superheroes created since 1938.

Since their inception, superheroes have been adapted into many different mediums. Superman, in particular, has been adapted for radio, television, video games, and films. From 1941-1945 the character became the protagonist of seventeen short films. Followed soon after in 1951 as a television series Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves. In 1966 Superman was even adapted into a broadway musical. 1978 marks the release of Superman, directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve; three sequels followed this production. Since this time a number of animated television series have been made as well as the live action series Superboy and Lois & Clark: the New Adventures of Superman.

In the recent years we have seen a rise in superhero films. 2002 brought the release of Spider-Man, which was followed by two sequels, and in 2012 they relaunched the franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man. Batman Begins was released in 2005, and has been followed by two sequels. Marvel has released Thor, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man I and II, and are anticipating the release of Iron Man III in 2013. The 2012 release of Marvel’s The Avengers grossed an astounding $1,511,757,910 worldwide.

The small screen has also seen a number of superhero adaptation including the long-running series Smallville. This show followed the life of Clark Kent from a freshman in High School to the eventual embracing of his Superman identity 10 seasons later. After 218 episodes the show became the second longest running science-fiction television show in the world. The most recent television series is the CW’s new hit Arrow, based off of DC’s Green Arrow character. The story follows the life of Oliver Queen as he wages a one-man crusade against Starling City’s criminal elite.

Clark Kent, Smallville, 2001-11

Clark Kent, Smallville, 2001-11

Among these many different films there is one thing they tend to have in common: the superheroes claim to be fighting for truth. Yet they deny a fundamental truth of Scriptures: the existence of our creator. The genesis of many of these superheroes is steeped in evolutionary thought. The Hulk for instance is the result of a science experiment gone awry. The philosophy behind his character implies that within each of us lies a primitive primal creature: this idea is fundamentally contrary to the pages of Divine Scripture. The Bible tells us that man was originally created holy and in the image of God, though he has been marred by the fall and sin, man still holds the imprint and image of his Maker. Spider-Man also follows the evolutionary and atheistic line of thought by communicating that a human/animal mutation is the solution and answer to man’s obvious weakness. The character Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-el is also distinctly contrary to the Word of God; for he is a “strange visitor” from another plant sent by his father Jor-el, according to the television show Smallville, to be “mankind’s greatest savior.” The notion of Aliens and Extraterrestrials travelers is in complete contradiction to the created order of God, who stated that He made the earth to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18) and sent His son to be mankind’s one and only Savior Jesus Christ (Act 4:12).

The case could be made that Captain America is different because it was Captain America who stated that “there is only one God” in the recent film The Avengers. However, Captain America does not declare the existence of the Triune God of the Bible. Furthermore, throughout the film Captain America is presented as old-fashioned and outdated, sending the subtle message that true superheroes do not believe in such antiquated ideology.

Iron-Man, 2008

Iron-Man, 2008

Another common misconception of the American superhero is his understanding of sin and judgement. He continually asserts that he stands for justice and righteousness but he fails to define what any of these ideas truly are. The superhero sees man as the victim of an evil society, and continually fights to stop the evil forces that exist within his city. The evil that exists in their worlds is seen as an abstract force outside of man rather than flowing from an evil heart inherent in the human race. The world of the superhero sees man as naturally good and desirous to do the right thing. This is exemplified in the recent film adaptations of the Iron Man/Tony Stark character. These films continually assert that even the most selfish and self-obsessed of us will do the right thing when the chips are down. According to the Biblical doctrine of man the intents of man’s heart are evil (Jeremiah 17:9, etc.), and the only thing that keeps anyone of us from becoming worse than the evilest comic-book villain is the grace of God.

Arrow, 2012

Arrow, 2012-13

The superhero consistently misunderstands the reasons for defending the helpless and downtrodden. The Bible gives us clear and direction commands to defend the innocent and helpless, and to care for the helpless and destitute. This goal of the superhero is noble and worthy of praise, the problem however lies within the superheros heart. He fights against the evil people because he desires to uphold some abstract undefinable good that exists within the universe. Good is good merely because it is; this is the righteousness the superhero upholds. To the superhero righteousness is whatever you believe it is. In the words of a character from the CW’s Arrow “If you believe in something; how can it be wrong?” This, however, is not the good that Christians have been called to uphold and defend. We are to look to the Bible as our only standard of right and wrong; it is the law of our Creator which we are to defend and uphold.

Spider-Man, 2002

Following close behind the superheroes misunderstanding of man’s fundamental nature is his view of salvation. If man’s fundamental problem isn’t sin, rather an external force, or their society, then if you fix these external elements all will be fine. As long as the hero stops the next evil villain trying to take over and destroy Gotham City then the people are safe and life will be better. However, The Joker,  the Green Goblin, and Lex Luthor are not the true problem. They are the result of the problem we all face. We all are evil and sinful at heart. We have violated the law of God and are worthy of eternal damnation. It is the just wrath of God that we need saving from and it is God who made a way for our reconciliation to Him. He is the just Judge and the Justifier of us (Romans 3:26). The one who Condemns and the one who Saves. That is the glory of the true Savior of the human race.

The idea of a masked crusader, who lives a life of self-sacrifice in order to defend and protect society, is certainly appealing to modern audiences. He is misunderstood by his family because all of the times

Batman Begins, 2005

they think he is being irresponsible he is out saving the entire world from annihilation. The problem is that this hero fundamentally denies the very God of Creation! How can we then, under good conscious, escape into this fantasy world that is constantly discipling us and teaching us to walk in a manner unpleasing to God? It would appear that we have made our own god; we are ungrateful and unthankful to the God who created us and instead desire to live in a world of pretend. We have taken this hero and made him an idol; film heroes have become a way to to escape reality. Sinful man would rather have  a super-powered man or woman save the human race from suffering and external evils, instead of admitting their own sin; they prefer to be saved from other peoples lawlessness rather than admit and repent of our own lawless acts committed against Almighty God.

Are we then making the claim that any form of film, or fictitious story is a violation of the Command of God? No. We are rather setting forth that our understanding and idea of a hero must be shaped and patterned off of the Word of God. Throughout the Bible we are commanded to follow in the footsteps of, and look up to, those who follow God, and teach His ways; Paul encouraged us to be imitators of him as he was of Christ; In Hebrews 11 we have a list of the great men of the faith who are to be an encouragement to us. Being discipled by  a heroic, godly man who is an expert archer is not contrary to the commands of God but glorifying a man who denies the existence of God and lives outside of God’s Law is a serious problem. We need men, and women, who are truly heroic according to the Biblical definition.

The modern American superhero is teaching and instructing and we have become his willing students. When we thoughtlessly escape into his world of fantasy he teaches us a view of truth that is really a lie and a righteousness that is actually autonomy: the superhero is discipling us in a lifestyle and a worldview that is contrary to the Scriptures. We must seek to learn from truly heroic people that will defend God’s truth, and will encourage theonomic living in place of autonomous living. We must be discipled by men and women who will point us to the Lord Jesus Christ as our only hope and savior, the Word of God as the only standard of righteousness, and teach us to live courageously and heroically for the glory of God; men and women who will do this are the true heroes.

The Avengers, 2012

Written by Kevin and Koleesa Amundson (c) 2012

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