Daily Archives: June 9, 2006


I wonder how much I’ve written here, in this thing, this blog. Then I think of a quick way to count the words, thanks to Microsoft Word.

Over there to the right, Blogger automatically aggregates posts into the archives. You can set it daily or weekly or whatever, but Blogger defaults to monthly and that’s what I use. So I go to each of the monthly archive pages and do a CTRL-A (Select All). Then I switch over to Word and do an ALT-E-S (Paste Special). I choose Unformatted Unicode Text and click OK. So nowI’ve got an entire month of blog entries in a Word document, without pictures or formatting or tables or extraneous stuff like that.

Then I need to delete a few things. After the Paste Special, the cursor is down at the end of the document, so I start there. I go up a few lines until I find “About Me.” That’s where the blog entries end and the right-hand side profile, links, previous posts, and archives listings are. I delete from “About Me” to the end of the document. I go up to the top of the document and delete from the beginning “Notify Blogger about objectionable content” down through the name (EBOHLS) and description (the Tony Kushner quote) of the blog. So now all that’s left are actual blog entries.

But still need to delete a couple more things. There’s a line for the date of each entry at the beginning of each post, as well as a line noting the poster, time, comments and links at the end of each post. So I do a global search and replace in Word, CTRL-H, first finding “, 2006^p” and replacing that, clicking Replace All, but not with other text but with header formatting. I arbitrarily chose Heading 5. And then finding “Posted by Edward at” and replacing that with the same header formatting. Finally, finding “^p^p” and replacing that with “^p” as many times as Replace All needs until the replaced count is zero.

Then I choose Styles and Formatting from the Format menu. I click anywhere in the document in a Heading 5 formatted paragraph and choose Select All from the formatting pane. Then I hit Delete. All the extra stuff is gone. All that’s left is the meat of the blog entries themselves. When I choose Word Count from the Tools menu, Word tells me how many pages, words, characters, paragraphs, and lines are in the document.

Here are the word counts, by month:

January – 8,059
February – 8,210
March – 12,940
April – 23,614
May – 20,583

I’m pretty wordy, ain’t I?

The Sword

That phrase, “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword,” I wonder about that. Is it Biblical? I go searching. And I find that it is indeed.

In St. Matthew, in Chapter 26, when Jesus is arrested at Gethsemane, someone draws their sword and cuts off the ear of the high priest’s servant. Jesus says, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (St. John has it slightly differently, naming the sword wielder as St. Peter and the victim as Malchus).

But in my search I find another quote from Jesus, again from St. Matthew, about swords, but this time he wields the sword, or he is the sword maybe. Not the lamb, not the peacemaker. What is this?

Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword.
For I have come to set a man ‘against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one’s enemies will be those of his household.’
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.

He is paraphrasing older Scripture here, from Micah 7:6. It’s a little scary, actually. I don’t quite comprehend it all, or maybe I’m just scared of having to face it.

But at least for now I’ll note that it doesn’t necessarily contradict his later saying, about living and dying by the sword. And, similar to elsewhere in St. Matthew, the Beatitudes, what Christ asks of us is really hard.