I keep telling people that Baptism is this big deal commitment I'm not ready to make (and likely never will be). But Confirmation sounds like you get this great gift! (Things one learns on Wikipedia.)
Researching a friend's baptism date led to conversation about the Immaculate Conception and whether there were other people who never sinned (Job, for example, insists he has committed no sin -- and even Paul says he is "blameless under the Law").
I attempted to find out if there's a name for the heresy of believing that Jesus sinned. We were excited to discover the Christadelphians but alas, 'twas not to be.
"To have a sin nature means that Jesus had a fallen, defiled, and unholy nature. I fail to see how an unholy person can offer a holy sacrifice sufficient to please an infinitely holy God. Of course, the Christadelphians say this is possible because, even though Jesus had a sin nature, He never committed a sin and He kept the Law therefore satisfying God." (emphasis mine)And from Wikipedia:
-from one of the first Google hits I found
Rejection of some mainstream doctrines+
Christadelphians reject a number of doctrines held by many other Christians, notably the immortality of the soul (see also mortalism; conditionalism), trinitarianism, the personal pre-existence of Christ, the baptism of infants, the personhood of the Holy Spirit and the present-day possession of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (see cessationism). They believe that the word devil is a reference in the scriptures to sin and human nature in opposition to God, while the word satan is merely a reference to an adversary (be it good or bad). According to Christadelphians, these terms are used in reference to specific political systems or individuals in opposition or conflict. Hell (Hebrew: Sheol; Greek: Hades, Gehenna) is understood to refer exclusively to death and the grave, rather than being a place of everlasting torment (see also annihilationism). Christadelphians do not believe that anyone will "go to Heaven" upon death. Instead, they believe that only Christ Jesus went to Heaven, and when he comes back to the earth the true believers will live in the Land of Israel which will be the Kingdom of God on Earth. Christadelphians believe the doctrines they reject were introduced into Christendom after the first century in large part through exposure to pagan Greek philosophy, and cannot be substantiated from the Biblical texts.
We also talked about that book I'm not enjoying much.
On page 18, the author says:
The biblical term "to know" is an elegant summing up of the intimate and in-depth understanding that grows over time in a sexual relationship. It means the opposite of whatever occurs in a one-night stand. (The Bible uses words such as "come in into you," "lie with," for loveless couplings.)Given that English renditions of the story of Sodom use the verb "to know," my best friend looked it up in her Concordance. The Hebrew word ("yada") is in fact used in both those instances ("Now Adam knew Eve and she conceived and gave birth..." Gen 4.1 & "Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them." ... Gen 19.5) One supposes it's POSSIBLE the Sodomites were being ironic... but the verb is also used in rape of the concubine in Judges, where the NRSV renders 19.25 as, "They wantonly raped her."
Yeah, we are not impressed.
(I am pleased to find there are online Concordances, though.)
the story of how it took me ~3.5hrs to bicycle to Walden Pond -- and ~2hrs to bicycle back
I brought 2 bottles of water, though no sunscreen.
GoogleMaps said it was 17.7mi and would take 1hr36min to bike.
I left ~3:50 (baptism was scheduled for 6pm).
I arrived Bedford Depot ~5:15?
[That was 11.6mi. Given that my 12mi in the morning MWF takes ~1:20, that shouldn't have surprised me
It was ~3mi to get to the Arlington head of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway, so that was ~8mi on the bikeway... It felt longer than the "HBS-to-Esplanade-to-HBS" route (which I'd recently been experiencing as feeling not long enough) -- felt like I was just biking forever; made me kinda wanna go for long summer bike rides with my dad, though.]
Looking at my GoogleMaps printout, I felt like I really should be farther long at this point and I worried that I had somehow missed a turn -- and I really had no idea where Bedford was on this list of directions.
So I parked my bike outside JRM Antiques (despite not finding any place to lock it) and went inside (despite suspecting I looked a little damp from the brief rain that had happened on the bikeway earlier) and asked if they had a map. The proprietor said just of the bike trails, and I said that was fine, that was basically what I was looking for. So while he helped some customers bring stuff out to their car, I looked at the map and at my own printout and still didn't really know where I was in relation to anything, but eventually he came back and it turned out I was at the end of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway and he warned me that the Reformatory Branch Trail was unpaved (though "packed gravel" was the impression I got from him) but I didn't have any real worries about being able to find my way.
We exchanged names (his name is John) and after I gave my name he asked if I go just by Elizabeth and I said yes and he said Elizabeth was a good Victorian name, there's no "Queen Liz," and that made me want there to be a children's book about a Queen Liz but I wasn't gonna argue with him -- and I do appreciate people who affirm my all-four-syllables preference re: my name. He gave me his card and let me keep the map for free.
If I'd just finished out the bikeway, the street signs were obvious -- though I would have totally missed the trailhead (even with his warning that it wasn't paved, I still didn't think that giant patch of gravel with a noticeboard was necessarily the trailhead, so I went down, then went back ... in rain i could barely see most this whole time (yeah, it started raining basically right after I left the store, for about 10 minutes, was stopping as I got to the bikeshop) ... then coming back I noticed the bikeshop and I said "I just have a quick question," and the girl who'd let me in said she couldn't answer but he could (I'm guessing she had just started working at the store or something) & I asked & he was like I dunno and she said actually she DID know the answer to that and she directed me and indeed.
It was probably for the best that I didn't get on the dirt trail until after the rain had let up. The trail was navigable, though -- I went fairly slow because I don't have fenders, but the puddles weren't dangerous.
The directions say after a while you turn left onto MA-62 W/Concord Rd and then almost immediately a slight right back onto the Reformatory Branch Trail and then later you turn left onto MA-62 E/Main St and then an almost immediate right onto Walden Street and that takes you directly to Walden Pond.
Well, at one point the trail came out onto a road and didn't seem to pick up on the other side. I turned left and didn't see a Walden Street on the right. Eventually I saw a sign saying I was on 62, but there wasn't a sign for Walden Street (or any roads without signs which might have been Walden Street unmarked). Eventually I went back to where the trail let out and looked at my maps. A woman on a bicycle asked me if I needed a hand. I said I wanted to get to Walden Pond. She said the trail kept going -- over by that telephone pole -- and then when I got out in Concord Center there'd be a rotary and then I'd take Walden Street. It took me a couple of tries to find where exactly she meant by that telephone pole, but okay, along the edge of a meadow and a forest.
I crossed a road and kept going and then came out at another road where there was just a big meadow in front of me. I turned left and the road had a triangle gate, open on the side where traffic would be coming toward me. [Looking at the GoogleMap later, I suspect this was Concord Unit Entrance Road -- Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.] This was clearly not 62, and seemed like a semi-private area, but I had no idea where the trail was supposed to pick up. Then I heard a plane and remembered that this route takes me up over Hanscom Air Force Base. I immediately felt fear and did NOT want to be in that area anymore.
So I got back on the trail going back the way I'd come, and took that road I'd crossed in the middle. After a couple of turns I got onto something that might have been 62. After a bit I thought, "Hey, I recognize that bit of debris in the shoulder," and then I saw a familiar looking vendor stand on the side of the road -- yeah, I was totally biking back to where I'd come out of the trail the first time. So I turned around and took 62 back the way I initially had (it was Old Bedford Rd/Bedford St -- v. low traffic, and a shoudler most of the way).
Eventually I got into Concord Center. I felt too un-fancy to stop at any of these outdoor restaurants and ask how to get to Walden Pond, but then I saw a sign for an Information Center. I managed to follow the signs and find it. It closed at 4pm, but had public restrooms open until 8pm (it was currently ~7:30pm), for which I was grateful. It had a map on the outside wall (under glass), uncomfortably high up. It looked like Walden Street was supposed to be right there. I actually took 62 a little further, turned around when it turned into a real highway, and then lo Walden Street really was RIGHT across from the information center. I went down it and indeed, there's a set of lights where it crosses Route 2.
So Walden Pond is on my right -- way down a hill on my right. I keep passing triangle gates that say "Tow Zone - No Parking," so I'm not sure where I'm supposed to park my bike. Eventually I saw signs that say the parking lots close at 7:30pm. I continue to noodle around and at about quarter to 8 I hear someone on a bullhorn or something announce that if your car is still in the lot after 8pm it may be locked in overnight. O-kay. Sun doesn't even begin to set until about twenty after, but apparently Walden Pond closes at 8pm. So I head home.
It took me ~20min to get from Walden Pond, going back up 62, to where I know I can pick up the trail.
At one point, I came out of a little dirt trail and immediately across the road from me was a trail with a sign that said wastewater treatment plant, authorized personnel only. I felt like that trail had to be what I wanted -- because I would not have picked the tiny dirt trail I just got off if I were coming from anywhere except right across the street from it -- but it also seemed like clearly not what I wanted.
So I biked up and down the street a bit, looking for something that could be what I wanted, feeling like I was going to cry, because I didn't know how I was gonna call to come pick me up at 8:30 on a Saturday night from somewhere near the Concord/Bedford line.
Then a kid walking a dog comes off of the trail I'd come off of and I ask him how to get back on the trail -- and it turns out he lives right off the trail and yes, the trail with the sign is fine, just don't go OFF the trail or else you may find yourself confronted by a guy with a tractor and a shotgun. The trail looks a lot like just the grooves worn by travelers in the grass, and there are some offshoots that don't go anywhere (like a trail that used to go to Bedford Farms and then got closed). By the time we got to his house I was fine, though. His name is David and he's 18 (I think he asked me my age before he asked me my name) and he was dog-sitting.
So, I used to have a light on my bike that illuminated the road in front of me. And then when I parked my bike in Harvard Square overnight and didn't bother taking the lights off, it got stolen off my bike (complete with the piece that attaches to the bike that isn't really easily removable). When I replaced it, I didn't really think much of the fact that the new one I'd bought didn't point toward the ground. Biking home from SE on Monday, I noticed that it didn't provide much illumination, but since I'm rarely biking in poorly-lit areas after dark, I didn't think much of it.
The Minuteman Commuter Bikeway? Mostly I could ride close to the edge of the path, but there was a patch where I literally felt like I was biking blind, like I literally had no visual cues. Everytime there were pedestrians I saw them in time to slow down and not hit them, but wow, I am getting a real road-illuminating light for my bike.
[I left Walden Pond ~7:50 and arrived at head of the bikeway in Arlington ~9:30. I got home ~9:55 -- and that was with taking Mass Ave. to Cedar (b/c I still don't know how to get back onto Broadway from Mass Ave in Arlington ctr).]
It would have been 35.4mi round trip if I'd taken GoogleMaps' route directly. I'm guessing I did ~40mi -- though I wish I had an odometer on my bike (it would also be really helpful for when my timing does not line up with GoogleMaps' timing and so I don't know how far I've gone and if I've missed a turn or what). In ~6hrs.
I peeled off my clothes when I got home (they had mostly dried from the downpour) and was about ready to fall over (mostly it was just that my knees were sore) though first I was like, "protein, get in my belly!" (I had a banana and some cheese and some milk and by the 3rd of 4 Boca burgers I was getting full.)
Wow my bike got mud-encrusted. Going to hose it down at church tomorrow.
After I got home, I posted to Jamie's facebook event apologizing for having missed it.
And then I started to catch up on my facebook feed and saw that Molly posted a photo to facebook:
Walden Pond Baptism and Picnic a bust for the second time--lightning on the water. We raced back to Somerville for an indoor picnic and God sent this rainbow! The real miracle: Harold [surname] is smiling.and Jamie had posted:
[6:22pm] Today's baptism at Walden Pond was rained out (again), so we're having the potluck picnic in Duhamel Hall. — at First Church Somerville.