Friday, December 31, 2010

"The man who is deeply discontented with himself is probably growing fast into the full likeness of Christ." - C.H. Spurgeon

Monday, December 27, 2010

Books, Journals and Technology

There is an excitement in penning the first of many entries in a new journal. I've journaled since my teenage years, on and off in regularity and type. Ages and Stages, you know.  I mostly put down  quotes, sermons notes, prayers to God, and my thoughts about the profundities of close or familial relationships and happenings.
Last year, I started a kind of electronic journal on a file on my computer, quotes, sermon notes and something really fun, downloading old books and sources. I guess this blog has been a lighthearted journal of sorts too. 
In some way the e-world has affected my old habits.  As I caressed the leather cover of an old book and admired the lines of my new journal yesterday afternoon I started thinking, technology is a great thing with quick knowledge and infinite worlds of information but it can easily start to crowd the slow and sensorial pleasure of a worn book, a known chair,  an exceedingly soft throw and the quiet company of one engaging the same joy next to you.  
Starting the new year with old comforts....what could be better.  E. has already finished his first Christmas gift and has started into his second(The Tracts and Treatises of Calvin), I have some catching up to do- albeit I've started with something a little lighter.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Quote Book

On God
The sun with all its planets moving around it, can ripen the smallest bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else to do.  Why then should I doubt his power? - Galileo
On Handel's Messiah -

Music has been called the speech of the angels; I will go farther and call it the speech of God Himself. -  Charles Kingsley

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Eve Day

 New friends, Old Christmas Dishes.
Bomia and Rice, Turkey with Sauce,
Boxing on Wii, the Story Traditions.
Fruit and Tea, Coffee and Cake,
Talking in Chops, Laughing A Lot.

Departing of Guests, Arriving as Family,
Making a Place, Feeling Like Home.
Questions and Learning, Acts full of Knowledge,
Hopes for the Future, Comforts with Rest.
We are Different, We are the Same;
We Build, We Celebrate,
Sitz im Leben.
Christmas is later than other years, per K.'s request. This happens as you get older, I guess (slight protest).  Rolls in the oven, Coffee in the Cups, all the other candles are lit and the white candle awaits the story's end, Dad and I are about to insist you get out of that bed.


Snow has fallen throughout the night.  It is lovely outside.  What a perfect gift to represent the gift of our Savior.

Rejoice, a Happy Day Indeed.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Saying "Merry Christmas"

I talk to more people during Christmas than any other time of the year. My mom talks to everyone, always, regardless of the season, and warms to them with pleasantries, E. does the same. It is one of my very favorite things about both of them - I do that sort of - well seasonally, during Christmastime.
It IS the one time of year I feel liberated from my "crowd reserved" nature enough to actually greet people with "Merry Christmas" as opposed to my customary slight nod or smile.

The orthopraxy of giving a HIGH HOLY DAY greeting and what that means to culture  is, a worthy discussion, indeed!


 Are we headed here  or have we already arrived?



Trying to be the most politically correct that I can (which you readers know is my life’s ambition), let me suggest the following to you who really want to avoid any offense. Maybe I should print it out on little cards and hand them out:

Please feel however you want to feel about whatever you might want to have any feelings about, or if you prefer, please do not feel like you have to any feelings at all about this time of year or feel like you have to have any feelings at or about any other time of year if you do not feel like feeling anything right now, and, of course, feel free not to feel anything at any time if that’s what you feel like, in which case I hope nothing or no one interferes with how you are feeling or not feeling at the time you choose to be feeling or not feeling something.


To all the rest of you willing to risk being offended, may I say, “Merry Christmas!”
Click HERE to read all of this article sent from a friend.




Rejoice! Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Kids Say the Darnest Things

3 of Us, 2 Boys and 1-liners:
 Me - How often do you take baths?
C - On Tuesdays and if I stink.
A - We take baths everyday.

A- Oh no! I left my new watch at Miss P's house
Me- We can call and have her write your name on it and put it up until I can get it on Friday.
20 second PAUSE
A- Uh, Miss J.
Me- Yes, A.
A- My watch is waterproof, but I am not sure if you can write on it with markers.


These are just the two I remember out of the 10 or so.  All the laughter must of given me memory stroke.  Gotta love the precogitive stage!

Sweetness of the Season and one Holy Catholic Church...

I thought I would jot down the happenings of today so after the Christmas cards and ornaments have been put in the upstairs closet we'll not forget the glimmers of truth seen in the common graces of the season. 
E. arrived to do a few carpets. Their home was modest and cluttered with collections and pictures of children, grandchildren and greats too, one supposes.  Mrs. A and Mr. S. have been married for over 50 years; they are in their late 70's. Upon E's arrival she handed him a  Homemade Christmas Card with a personal note (Complete with hand drawn Nativity, tree, ornaments and bunnies in the snow.) He chatted a bit before starting, and Mrs. A. said she must get some crafts done. Having finished the rooms, E. turned to go but Mrs. A called out and asked him to wait; he did. She handed him a wooden cross wrapped in red beads and ribbon, fingers full of glue. E. felt his emotion welling into tears.

The gift given with such grace - so very reminiscent of the gift of a Babe so long ago. We Rejoice with so many during this season, yet it,community - the Holy Catholic Church, can be so easily missed-overlooked.

E. walked in with teary eyes to tell me a story about these carpet customers today. One more precious part of the story E. relayed- Mrs. A. had drawn a picture of the seasons, it was there on the counter. As E's eyes brushed over it, he realized it was a love note, to Mr. S, filled with thankfulness for being lover and best friend for all those years.


All those beams of truth lived out through the meager gifts of one lady showing a common grace of the season, she loved God, husband, generations of children, and community. She didn't even know E's name when he walked in her home.

Reflecting on the day, it reminds me of a line of a Puritan Prayer "Beacons bright to allure".

Love notes: love notes of a life, to God, to spouse, to child, to family, to friend, to acquaintance.

HIS note to us: I came so that you might have LIFE, and not just life - LIFE ABUNDANT.

 
Rejoice - Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A New Christmas Hymn

O how wondrous is the story
Of our blest Redeemer's birth!
See, the mighty Lord of glory
Leaves his heaven to visit earth.
Hear with transport, every creature,
Hear the gospel's joyful sound:
Christ appears in human nature,
In our sinful world is found!

Comes to pardon our transgression,
Like a cloud our sins to blot;
Comes to his own favored nation,
But his own receive him not.

If the angels who attended
To declare the Saviour's birth,
Who from heaven with songs descended,
To proclaim good will on earth;
If, in pity to our blindness,
_They_ had brought the pardon needed;
Still, Jehovah's wondrous kindness
Had our warmest hopes exceeded!
If some prophet had been sent
With salvation's joyful news,
Who that heard the blest event
Could their warmest love refuse?
But 'twas He to whom in heaven
Hallelujahs never cease;
He, the mighty God, was given--
Given to us a Prince of peace.

None but he who did create us,
Could redeem from sin and hell;
None but he could reinstate us
In the rank from which we fell.

Had he come, the glorious stranger,
Decked with all the world calls great--
Had he lived in pomp and grandeur,
Crowned with more than royal state--
Still, our tongues, with praise o'erflowing,
On such boundless love would dwell--
Still, our hearts, with rapture glowing,
Speak what words could never tell.

But what wonder should it raise,
Thus our lowest state to borrow!
O the high mysterious ways--
God's own Son a child of sorrow!

'Twas to bring us endless pleasure,
He our suffering nature bore;
'Twas to give us heavenly treasure,
He was willing to be poor.
Come, ye rich, survey the stable
Where your infant Saviour lies;
From your full, o'erflowing table,
Send the hungry good supplies.
Boast not your ennobled stations,
Boast not that you're highly fed;
Jesus, hear it all ye nations,
Had not where to lay his head.

Learn of me, thus cries the Saviour,
If my kingdom you'd inherit:
Sinner, quit your proud behavior;
Learn my meek and lowly spirit.
Come, ye servants, see your station
Free from all reproach and shame;
He who purchased your salvation,
Bore a servant's humble name.
Come, ye poor, some comfort gather,
Faint not in the race you run;
Hard the lot your gracious Father
Gave his dear, his only Son.
Think, that if your humble stations
Less of worldly food bestow,
You escape those strong temptations
Which from wealth and grandeur flow

See, your Saviour is ascended;
See, he looks with pity down:
Trust him, all will soon be mended;
Bear his cross, you'll share his crown.

-Hannah More's poem c. 1780

Read about Hannah on Theology Girls, looked her poems up and found stories too.  There are so many poignant parts of this poem it's hard to say which one hit me the hardest. Reminds us of our great need, and His incredible abasement.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. - Hebrews


REJOICE!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Books by the Pound...

Pound of Flesh that is.  I'm looking at my bookshelves and thinking I will never be able to organize these 400+ Volumes in a way that is easily accessible, expandable and looks inviting and decorative.  My book load is about to tipping point - I now have more volumes than I can visualize where I have placed each and put my fingertips on it. - I have  growing groupings of books and I just need a little organization and decorative inspiration.
So, I am re-posting my "Mom's" poem in hopes that some of  her tenacity will rub off - well, once my incredulous book stack laughter subsides.

It Couldn't Be Done
Somebody said that it couldn't be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it;"
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.
...Edgar Guest




Monday, December 13, 2010

Because my husband...

Found this over at Calvinistic Cartoons: Under the Word Associations (This is #7)

Will Laugh.  
You're almost done. Hang On!

O Brother,... I mean O, Sister ....

A Christmas Video. Well, it definately explains our need for Christmas. Found this when enjoying a browse through the Friday Funnies on Theology for Girls blog.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sweet Sunday Morning

Walked out in to the living room and the Monopoly Board was in Mid Play. K., you and M. were sacked out and I remembered the dough in the frig readied for cinnamon rolls. While making the rolls snow flitted outside the kitchen window. I love the snow. It is so beautiful and cleansing. I was hoping we'd have a fully covered ground but nothing is sticking. Oh well. It is still so beautiful to watch it come down. With the wind chill it is 17* - whoo - that's nice and cold. Sweaters and Wool for church this morning. It is the 3rd Sunday of the Advent, the Shepherds - watching their sheep - foretelling the Lamb of God, our precious Lord Jesus, who takes away the sin of the world, who takes away our sin and shame.
Blessed be His Name.
In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay; Enough for Him,
Whom angels fall before, The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd,
I would bring a lamb; If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
Words to Think On.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday Chores and a Blessing

K. is at the ACT, I am puttering around the house working through my list. I found a book of prayer as I was shelving books, and sat down to leaf through it. Two prayers, stuck out, one for our home, one for this season. This  is the prayer on the door at St. Stephen's in London.
God make the door of this house wide enough to receive all who need human love and fellowship, narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and strife. Make its threshold smooth enough to be no stumbling-block to children, nor to straying feet, but rugged and strong enough to turn back the tempter's power. God, make the door of this house that gateway to Thine eternal kingdom.
Amen.
O God of the lonely, Remember this day those who need the warmth of human touch, the sound of loving voice, the presence of caring spirit. The lonely are all around us...cause your Spirit of Loving concern to touch some man and woman, some boy and girl, so that each will be moved to reach out to the one alone who awaits.
a telephone call
a note
a visit
a hug or a kiss
a firm handshake
a warm meal
a long walk
a caring letter
O God of the lonely send those ambassadors of your love so that your lonely children will be lonely no more.
And may those who are lonely ever be open to your biding presence, that they will know though lonely they are not alone! - Woody W. White, 20th century

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Response in Life

Christians often believe they deserve far more than they have, when in reality they have far more than they deserve. - John MacArhtur,"The Pillars of Christian Character, p.106
Long before I heard Dave Ramsey reply, "Better than I deserve." to the question of "How are you?" I heard another man say that regularly - the Pastor of our small Midwestern town in the mid 80's. It was a bit of a jolt the first several times I heard it: I responded with nervous laughter. Later, that laughter transitioned to a reflective smile and nod. Pastor was changing my worldview by speaking truth. Of course, we are called not just to speak truth, but walk in faith of the One who is Truth. A few years ago while visiting for Christmas we drove up to see Pastor and his wife. Life was not easy for them, Pastor had watched his son die in a tragic accident, they had been in a close to deadly accident and were swamped with medical bills, and had a church whose board did not want truth to be taught for fear of community retaliation. The enemy was seemingly advancing on all fronts for them. When E. asked softly, "How are you doing? His bright eyes and beaming face relayed his contentment in Christ and he replied, "Better than I deserve."
Romans 5:8-9, "But God demonstrates his own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him."
A few paragraphs down in "Pillars" MacAuthur, points out the early Chritians greeted eachother with the Greek Chairete, which means "Rejoice". What a great salutation. We were talking about this with our friends this week. We were exorting one another to "Rejoice" and somewhere inside I felt that nervous laughter of long ago. Walking and speaking truth can make me and others uncomfortable. Yet, it is more than just a seasonal novelty. We are commanded to "Rejoice!"
"Rejoice, that your names are written in heaven." -Luke
So you might just hear us say, "Rejoice" instead of our, "Hey, how are you doing?"

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"No More Books"

I never thought I would hear EN say those words. Books are his Love Language. Actually, E. said "No more books downstairs," when I let him on the plan to put my two newest bookshelves in the kitchen and hall he thought that was just - excessive. He also suggested I could move a few other newer bookshelves to the guest room as well.

Olden Golden Reads is breaking even with adding inventory, shelving, and supplementing for children's books to put in the libraries overseas. It is also a wonderful source of gifts and pilferage for E. and K. - they always rummage. K.'s new line, "I need this for my library." I recently sold a 1941 Analytical Bible that they both drooled over, and truly, my intent was to give it to E. at Christmas if it didn't sell before the 24th.

My plan is for Olden Golden to eventually make a little money, but for now, it is making headway. Small beginning not to be despised, I'm happy that it is self sustaining and growing; in light of the fact it started out as a $10/bi-weekly hobby. Also, I really enjoy looking at all those books, the value in that alone is worth hours of therapy. Ha!

The sellers I bump into to at Goodwill have been helpful and have given me pointers. The latest advice- "Inventory, build inventory - shoot for about 10,000 to 12,000." I'm at about 350 sellable volumes. I chuckled, nodded and thought,...
"REALLY? Now, that is excessive."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

It's Time....

I just downloaded "James Taylor at Christmas" from Amazon. I am downloading it to my MP3 for our evening adventure. Tonight, we will knock out almost our Entire Christmas List...(Almost because E. really wants a pug and K. is lobbying hard, I'm not yet convinced, but they seem to think that pugs not only travel well but can be completely house broken - Wife/Mom defined as absolutely NO accidents, biting or chewing???)
Tomorrow we will finish with breakfast at Waffle House and then home for a nap before we Deck the Halls. James will join the serenading of Elvis, Handel and Hmmm? -I've forgotten as I've yet to take the Christmas CD's out of the box yet. (Updated - Time Life Pop Series - K.'s picks, Rockin Around the Christmas Tree and Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer)

It's raining and you can now do all your shopping online, and I suggested this to K, BUT it was met with great consternation! It was a definite - open mouth without brain or thought engaged moment for me! Whoops!

TRUTH - I love sitting in crowded parking lot in the middle of the night laughing about our expected steals and trying to time it just right as to when to get in line for the perfect gift, at the best price, with my best girl, at the truly weirdest time ever. Sounds like, and is, the mixed up recipe for this mom and daughter Advent Memories.

My daughter's love languages are Words of Affirmation and Gifts. Her dad picked up on this early. She is a sweetie, no REALLY, she loves sweets, so E. is the best candy man ever, He comes home with a candy bar, or a sundae or baby bottle pop often. She loves it. Blah, blah, blah... What this translates to is - She has a job this year, and she is SO excited because she wants to buy the perfect gift for those on her list. Her excitement and thoughtfulness gives me great joy and I feel like I could burst with excitement. I Love getting ready for the biggest party, and rightfully so, of the year that lasts almost all month. And this year, I'm not going to think about our little Christmas budget being used on anything else but Christmas. It's going to be a great year to mark His Advent with lots of love and times remembering His gift to us.

Update:
We were out the door at 3:30 home by 8:00, separate trips to dollar tree for odds and ends later that day. K. Wrapped all her presents and wrote pithy little notes on them - THe notes are almost, well. maybe even better than the enclosed gifts (O.K. - so you'll have to admit, Girlie, you get at least one thing from my side of the tree =o])

A Day of Thanksgiving

Calls from Family brimming with love and humor
Time with Friends laden with songs, prayers, plays and of course an abundance of food -
Exceedingly Full Bellies of turkey, corn muffin stuff'n, sweet potato, squash, oyster, and cranberry casseroles, mountains of mashed potatoes and rivers of gravy, greens and green beans, pies and cupcakes
Warm Hearts shared with 5 kernels of corn
For God's Providence and Provision - O Our Lord God, We Give Thanks - to You.

Thanksgiving
My God, Thou are a God of strength and beauty,
Thou art the mighty Keeper of the seas;
Thou givest me my life, my faith, my seeing-
And I so small - what can I give for these?

Thou givest me the sun, the hills, the rainfall,
Clear eyes to see the daybreak and the night,
A mind to fathom truth and follow straightly-
And I, so small- what can I give of might?

Thou givest me the love of little children,
The quiet shining of the passing day,
The flow of Peace within a burning heartache-
And I, so small- what can I give or say?

And then as though Thou countest not these blessings,
Thou sendest Thine own Son to die for me-
And I, so small- oh, humbly and with gladness,
I give my all- I give my life to thee!
-Peter Pan
(reprinted from the Chicago Tribune) as Published in The Hymnal for Youth, 1941


Give Thanks to the LORD
Psalm 138 OF DAVID.

1 I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;

2 I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.

3 On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.

4 All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
5 and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD,
for great is the glory of the LORD.
6 For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.

7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Just Bragg'n!



My big brother did this tile work, just one of his many gifts.

It's lovely. BRAVO!
Love you, J.
You're my second favorite guy in the world!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Light shines forth in Providence


“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone to many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise.”
William Bradford, Of Plimoth Plantation

The internet is so great for finding where "stuff" comes from. This picture is a writing of William Bradford. This quote is from a link on a blog I follow. Fun Stuff. It will go perfectly with the browsing of "The Light and the Glory" this week.

Sam Walter Foss, in the last stanza of his piece "The Coming American" says it brillantly:

Bring me men to match my rivers,
Continent cleansers, flowing free,
Drawn by eternal madness,
To be mingled with the sea-
Men of oceanic impulse,
Men whose moral current sweep
Towards the wide infolding ocean,
Of the undiscovered deep-
Men who feel the strong pulsation
Of the central sea, and then
Time their currents by the earth's throbs-
Bring me men!


Each time I read this poem my heart explodes with hope that God is directing men with His Vision, Providence, and Heart to rise up and insomuch He will usher in His Kingdom - whether it come in the next 100 or the next 1000 years.
I am especially moved by the line "Men who feel the strong pulsation Of the central sea, and then Time their currents by the earth's throbs-"

Bringing it closer to home, now that I've meandered through the Bradford bit, I get to go to make our first pot of beef stew this the Fall, E. request, carb load for the strong of heart. Winter food is so much more "warm and homey" than Summer Salads and Chicken - absolutely love this time of year!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Who said what?

I am terrible about putting names with quotes! But here are a few I just found the origin to:

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -Edmund Burke

It isn't what you eat-it's what you digest that make you strong. It isn't what you earn- it's what you save that makes you rich. And it isn't what you preach-it's what you practice that makes you a christian. -Francis Bacon

A new (to me) GK Chesterton on the mind:

Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

LIFE OF GOD IN THE SOUL OF MAN by Henry Scougal

Our Pastor is preaching through Judges, we are also doing a bible study on Judges. That translates to dealing with the theme of idols - a lot.
They know by experience that true religion is a union of the soul with God, a real participation of the divine nature, the very image of God drawn upon the soul, or, in the apostle’s phrase, “It is Christ formed within us.”
The soul of man is of a vigorous and active nature, and hath in it a raging and inextinguishable thirst, an immaterial kind of fire, always catching at some object or other, in conjunction wherewith it thinks to be happy; and were it once rent from the world, and all the bewitching enjoyments under the sun, it would quickly search after some higher and more excellent object, to satisfy its ardent and importunate cravings; and, being no longer dazzled with glittering vanities, would fix on that supreme and all-sufficient Good, where it would discover such beauty and sweetness as would charm and overpower all its affections. The love of the world, and the love of God, are like the scales of a balance; as the one falleth, the other doth rise: when our natural inclinations prosper, and the creature is exalted in our soul, religion is faint, and doth languish; but when earthly objects wither away, and lose their beauty, and the soul begins to cool and flag in its prosecution of them, then the seeds of grace take root, and the divine life begins to flourish and prevail.
Infinite and eternal Majesty! Author and Fountain of being and blessedness! how little do we poor sinful creatures know of thee, or the way to serve and please thee! We talk of religion, and pretend unto it; but, alas! how few are there that know and consider what it means! How easily do we mistake the affections of our nature, and issues of self-love, for those divine graces which alone can render us acceptable in thy sight! It may justly grieve me to consider, that I should have wandered so long, and contented myself so often with vain shadows and false images of piety and religion; yet I cannot but acknowledge and adore thy goodness, who hast been pleased, in some measure, to open mine eyes, and let me see what it is at which I ought to aim. I rejoice to consider what mighty improvements my nature is capable of, and what a divine temper of spirit doth shine in those whom thou art pleased to choose, and causest to approach unto thee. Blessed be thine infinite mercy, who sentest thine own Son to dwell among men, and instruct them by his example as well as his laws, giving them a perfect pattern of what they ought to be. O that the holy life of the blessed Jesus may be always in my thoughts, and before mine eyes, till I receive a deep sense and impression of those excellent graces that shined so eminently in him! And let me never cease my endeavours, till that new and divine nature prevail in my soul, and Christ be formed within me.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Telephone Call

Uncle Joe is quite a guy. He is never short of an opinion especially in relationship to God, the Church Universal, Politics, or Life in general. I enjoy listening to his loving tirades. He works hard and to the best of his ability. He is thankful for the small gifts of life and he loves his family.

Tonight's quotes from him that I liked...

"God doesn't just give you what you want, he wants you to put one foot in front of the other, and the other, and the other, and keep working until you get it done."

"I can't believe that some people actually believe that God doesn't exist - I can agree with them, He doesn't exist, He lives!"

"I am amazed at how much the Lord loves me and how he blesses me, it brings tears to this opinionated old man's eyes all the time, I don't know why he loves me, I just know that he does"

"Even when I knew B. wanted to push me out, I went to work everyday and kept doing my best. He was surprised, he expected me just to give up. I just kept doing my best.... That's what you do."

There is not a lot of people who know your Uncle, K. He is one of those most ordinary people who shape what the world really is. He is not pretentious, but filled with gratitude. Knowing him shapes me, he keeps me grounded to the past, he walks out faith and trust, hard work and truth.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flowers in the Snow Kind of Faith

Faith untried may be true faith, but it is sure to be little faith, and it is likely to remain dwarfish so long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers so well as when all things are against her: tempests are her trainers, and lightnings are her illuminators.

No flowers wear so lovely a blue as those which grow at the foot of the frozen glacier; no stars gleam so brightly as those which glisten in the polar sky; no water tastes so sweet as that which springs amid the desert sand; and no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity.

C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening


For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. -Paul to the Corinthians

In this post modern world it is the standard to expect blessing and ease rather than adversity and trial. Our minds have been twisted, and we untwist them bit by bit, struggle by struggle as we recognize our part in this fallen mess and also our part in the coming His glorious kingdom.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Morning, November 11 C.H. Spurgeon

“Underneath are the everlasting arms.” — Deuteronomy 33:27

God—the eternal God—is himself our support at all times, and especially when we are sinking in deep trouble. There are seasons when the Christian sinks very low in humiliation. Under a deep sense of his great sinfulness, he is humbled before God till he scarcely knows how to pray, because he appears, in his own sight, so worthless. Well, child of God, remember that when thou art at thy worst and lowest, yet “underneath” thee “are everlasting arms.” Sin may drag thee ever so low, but Christ’s great atonement is still under all. You may have descended into the deeps, but you cannot have fallen so low as “the uttermost”; and to the uttermost he saves. Again, the Christian sometimes sinks very deeply in sore trial from without. Every earthly prop is cut away. What then? Still underneath him are “the everlasting arms.” He cannot fall so deep in distress and affliction but what the covenant grace of an ever-faithful God will still encircle him. The Christian may be sinking under trouble from within through fierce conflict, but even then he cannot be brought so low as to be beyond the reach of the “everlasting arms”—they are underneath him; and, while thus sustained, all Satan’s efforts to harm him avail nothing.

This assurance of support is a comfort to any weary but earnest worker in the service of God. It implies a promise of strength for each day, grace for each need, and power for each duty. And, further, when death comes, the promise shall still hold good. When we stand in the midst of Jordan, we shall be able to say with David, “I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.” We shall descend into the grave, but we shall go no lower, for the eternal arms prevent our further fall. All through life, and at its close, we shall be upheld by the “everlasting arms”—arms that neither flag nor lose their strength, for “the everlasting God fainteth not, neither is weary.”


Testing of Your Faith
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. -James


I always deal with the barage of thoughts that life should be easy. Wrong Thinking. Weaver in his book "Ideas have Consequences states...
The truth is he (one with spoiled child pychology embedded) has never been brought to see what it is to be a man. That man is the product of discipline and of forging, that he really owes thanks for the pulling and tugging that enable him to grow-this concept left the manuals of education with the advent of Romanticism

This fallen, broken world is just that... fallen - broken. I am fallen and broken, Why do these things surprise me?
Discipline is after all, persistantly beginning again to walk after Him. A walk of perserverance not perfection.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

That Which Lasts...

That which man doth, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth he casteth away; He will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown by heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. -CH Spurgeon

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rise Up, O Men Of God

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things;
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O men of God!
His kingdom tarries long;
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!
The Church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task:
Rise up and make her great!

Lift high the cross of Christ,
Tread where His feet have trod;
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!

Lyrics: William Pierson Merrill
Music: William Henry Walter

A prayer for Brothers and Sisters in Hard Places:

But as for you,continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3
May God grant His peace in impossible places and favor and grace at every turn.

Monday, November 1, 2010

From VOM News

Christian Worshipers in Upscale Area of Baghdad Bombed and Shot.
There are times that some verses in the Bible become very clear and real to me.

As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” Romans 8:36.

It's hard to understand sometimes. But as those who name the name of Jesus, we do share in the sufferings of Jesus. And that is why we are to pray for our fellow brothers and sisters who around the world are sheep among wolves.

The news over the weekend of the church in an upscale area of Baghdad being bombed and invaded by armed men is all over the net and many of the mainstream news stations today, but the reality is that it will likely not remain there as elections take place tomorrow here in America. For that reason let us not forget about it or fail to tell others of what has happened.

Here is a snippet from the Washington Post report titled, Survivors describle deadly attack on Baghdad church:

Heads turned, the sermon stopped abruptly and the Rev. Wassem Sabeeh quietly began ushering parishioners into a fortified room in the rear of the church.

"We realized these explosions were close," said Bassam Sami, 21, one of the survivors of the attack on a Baghdad church carried out by heavily armed suicide bombers that left at least 58 people dead. "Father Wassem started pushing people inside the room."

Once they penetrated the church building, the silent assailants began executing people. "They were well trained," Sami said. "They didn't say anything. It was like someone had cut out their tongues."

Let me ask you a question. Does your church building have a fortified room? If it were necessary for your church to need a "safe room" would you still go there to worship the Lord Jesus Christ?

Think about it.

And while you do that, pray for the families of the victims and their families. Pray for those who have committed this horror, that they too would come to know the freedom and liberty from sin and damnation in the precious blood shed for them upon the cross of Calvary.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Our Part in Prayer

I often wonder about why and how it is that prayer works, in many ways it is a mystery of faith, faith in the person and work of Christ, in the Providence of God the Father, in the comfort of His Spirit. When I read about Christians being persecuted, think about friends with tragic health issues, or dwell on the garden-variety of everyday difficulties as I pray I wonder - What is the of talking with God, is it for me, is it for Him, is it for them? Well, I know it's not for God, he is perfectly complete within Himself and has no need for my relationship with Him, His love is fully "Gift" Love for me. My love for Him is mostly Need Love, and that mostly is generous, in that it should be stated as entirely "Need" love. How is it that we come to pray for others, and trust God to not only hear but consider our desires, or rather are our prayers in answer to His Spirit's bidding and He has already ordained the answer to what we ask?

As we prayed about the election today, I was reminded of a tweet I'd read on a blog that something like... Come Wednesday morning we can be sure that God is still King. Don't get me wrong - once E. returns we'll be voting, issues and canidates picked to the best of our ability with Kingdom criteria however, it is God who raises leaders, not one is in place without His consent.

I liked the following piece on prayer..The full article can be found here




Prayer is our way of seeking what we lack, which God has the power to bestow.

Prayer always recognises that God will answer all our prayers in accordance with his purposes, and that these purposes are always infinitely glorifying to him and always perfectly good (viewed from his [eternal] perspective, and measured according to what God regards as valuable) for his people (Romans 8:28).

Therefore every unanswered prayer (for health, marriage, the safety of a loved one, employment, friendship, life, breath and anything else) provides an opportunity to say to our heavenly Father:

“You are my loving Lord, and you know what’s best for your people. I can see that you’ve decided not to bestow (yet?) what I asked for, despite the fact that I can’t help thinking that it would be far better for me if you were to do so. So I praise you, heavenly Father, for

(1) this opportunity to re-think what is really ‘good’ for me;

(2) the greater blessings that you have in store, towards which this as-yet unanswered prayer is working;

(3) this fire in which you are refining my faith by requiring me to trust in your goodness and love even when it’s harder than ever to do so;

(4) the opportunities that the coming days, weeks and years may bring for me to praise you as I see some of the details of your sovereign plan working out;

(5) the future that certainly lies ahead in the New Creation, where I will praise you for your intricately-woven goodness and wisdom, where I will see finally and fully what I now see only by faith – that all things truly do work together for the good of those who are in Christ.”


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hmmm...

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Worry Stones, Memory Stone... What to choose.. What to choose?


K had an allergic reaction to a nut that found it's way into spinach dip at Applebee's (cross contamination). She went there earlier this evening to study and to treat herself after the ACT on Sat. Once she ate the nut and had the reaction, she took Bendryll pills and liquid, drank ice water and soda- All the appropriate first line actions. She called her Dad, he immediately drove to her.
After a couple hours E., with K. reaction allayed and in tow, picked me up from the friend's house where we'd been visiting when he got K's call.

About this time last year, was when E. almost died in Morocco from a reaction to a bite of fish - he thought it was chicken. It was late, and with no local Doc accessible, and having decided to leave his epipen home on that particularly international trip ( he's never needed one in past 20 years - but has carried it), it was serious and life threatening. Our doctor friend was able to call on the few minutes left on his phone and explain a triage cocktail of the meds he had available. Obviously, it worked, we were thankful. For the several hours, about 12, I was unable to contact him I fluctuated between praying, being a complete mess, and quite frankly both. My faithlessness was palatable; as was my gratitude when I finally heard his faint, scratchy voice on the other end of the line.

Enter this weekend! On Friday night, K called and let me know that she had ordered a salad at Wendy's to take to her evening of sitting, when she checked the label anchovies were in the ingredients. She hadn't eaten anything, threw the salad away, and was fine just "starving" so I ran her some dinner. Good Job K!

Fast forward to me getting into the car this evening and the aftermath of listening to tonight's Applebee's story.
Me - "Did you have your Epipen?"
Her - "I took both my Bendrylls, I called Dad, and got in the car to drive to him."
Me - "Are you telling me you left a public place and didn't let anyone know you were having an allergic reaction!" (Decimals rising quickly)
Her - "Mom, nobody cared, no one would have even probably helped."
Me - "Do you not realize you could have died!...(3 minute tirade of possible anaphyllactic scenarios)"

At the same time I was tirading outwardly toward my kiddo, there was a very calm conversation going on inside my head. It went like this..."Why are you yelling, you are not speaking what you want to here. Tell her you are so glad she is alive, Praise God. Tell her you are thankful she had her Benadryll, That she acted quickly, that she called her Dad. that it was not worse and that she's not in the hospital - or that she's not __________" Dead, that was the word in the fog of my brain that I could not say even to myself. "You could have died" is only a presumption, and therefore easily said as opposed to "You are not dead" which is another proposition all together.

Within the hour, I had apologized for my disconbobulation, and we were all laughing and carrying on about the Titans win.

I've mulled over this post a couple days, we read Colossians 3 this morning, the Truth there, made me smile; it gives me hope. It admonishes that Christ is all hope, that we are to put off the old self, that we are to act in goodness, encouraging eachother in the truths of God and give thanks. That is the "stuff" right thinking is made of.

Right there in the middleof the chapter, appropriately CENTER it has these few little words... I am thinking that it is the theme of this year for me.

...but Christ is all, and in all.

The Church's One Foundation

The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.

Elect from every nation,
Yet one over all the earth;
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.

Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed,
Yet saints their watch are keeping;
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song.

Second only to Be Thou My Vision, I love this hymn. God is provident, eternal and the prime mover. He is indeed in and through all, it is truly His "every grace endued" that calls us to not only to humility, but to shout His praise.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Knowledge and Wisdom

Knowledge and Wisdom, far from being one,
Have ofttimes no connection, Knowledge dwells
In heads replete with thoughts of other men;
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own.
Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass,
The mere material with which Wisdom builds,
Till smoothed, and squared and fitted to its place,
Does but encumber whom it seems t'enrich.
Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much;
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
-William Cowper

Written for Kids....? Good fodder for Adults


I picked up the Book of Virtues last week from the Goodwill Bargain Bin. We've had at least 3 copies in our pilgrimages, over the years. I was browsing through "Courage" this morning and found this advertisement encased in a small black-lined box in newspaper typeset. Interested?

MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.
- Ernest Shackleton (pictured)


British Antarctic Explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) placed this ad in London Newspapers in 1900 in preparation for the National Antarctic Expedition (which subsequently failed to reach the South Pole). Shackleton later said of the call for volunteers that "it seems as though all the men in Great Britain were determined to accompany me, the response was so overwhelming." Book of Virtues, W. Bennett, p.493

It made me chuckle because of my visceral response in thinking of the spiritual parallel to this. Life can sometimes feels like an Antarctic Adventure with Christ. Shackleton's snipet challenges me to consider my responses to Christ in the more difficult seasons of passage. Hmmm....sounds a bit like...
"If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." -The Lord Jesus

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Gift I admire...

True politeness consists in being easy one's self, and in making every one about one as easy as one can. - Alexander Pope


The ability to make others feel that they are special is a gift, my mom and E. have this gift. They've never met a stranger. It's magnetic.... I like that.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Book Venture ...

I went "dumpster diving" for books this morning and met a few book sellers. I want to learn how to choose and sell books more effectively, so I jumped out of my comfort zone and asked a man what he was going to do "with all the books in his cart". He stated he makes his living by selling books. Another gentleman was stacking his cart of books at the counter so I asked him the same thing. Here is what they said I should do. Get what you like...Find a Niche...Invest and Learn!
Incidentally, I heard this back in July from a friend.

I've decided I like older books best, there is something soothing about holding an old antiquated looking book; as far a genres I prefer literature,textbooks (good homeschool titles sell), large coffee table books(a few $2 investments might yield a good return one of these days), biographies, personal journals and poetry. If I think something will sell well - I usually try it.

Finds of the day:Merchant of Venice in the Ten Cent Pocket Version ,- Several of the 1900's Arden Shakespeare Series, Fabulae Faciles - A First Latin Primer , The Woolcott Reader

Monday, October 11, 2010

On Little Girls


A & L, the 4 & 7 year old girls of a friend, have been visiting on Mondays for about a month while mom is at class. They are now very comfortable in our home and we thoroughly enjoy having them.
It is such a blessing to have the burst of little girl energy and emotion around. The hugs and laughter makes me tempted to start on a second batch. Not really. We have a great time with them AND I had almost forgotten how very loud chase and tickle time can get around here.
L, the oldest, is very similar in nature to K. and is a no- nonsense kind of tom boy who is very matter of fact. She can not only "take it", but she can dish it too. A, the littler one, who is an auburn, doe eyed beauty, is all girlie-girl. IT is fun to watch her roller coaster up and down her emotions. We are now comfortable enough to insist on a no whining rule. However, it is easy enough to remember just how real and devastating it felt to wait for your choice of a special story. Our Evening:

Stories of the day
Pizza
Video
Games
Coloring
Chatting and tickles
Stories
Chase time
Choosing Decorating and eating cupcakes
Washing faces, Brushing teeth
Pj's
Tucked into Couch - Foot wars
Stories
Prayers
Hugs, Whimpers
Sleep .......and all in the span of three hours...Phew!
"Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people." -Allen Beck

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139


Hard to imagine, some people throw little ones away.Inconceivable.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

God Doesn't Stay Second Place ...

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Don't be deceived, my dear brothers.Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. - James


We've been going through the book Judges at Church and also at a Bible study. Judges deals with the idols of the heart. God doesn't stay second place, He will always insist on first, for our own good. HE alone is good.

Derek Webb's song,"The Wedding Dress" has a line -
"So could you love this bastard child, though I don't trust you to provide..."

It always comes down to TRUST, trusting HIM to be all and in and through all. That is a lesson, I am ever learning. May my lips praise you and ever say, "Lord pull me back to Center, for it is In and through You all things hold together."

When we are faithless yet He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. - Hebrews

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Blessings

Psalm 128
Blessed Is Everyone Who Fears the LORD
A Song of Ascents.
1Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways!
2You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
3Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
4Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the LORD.
5 The LORD bless you from Zion!
May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life!
6May you see your children’s children!
Peace be upon Israel!


Sermon on Fearing the Lord - Fear is reverence, respect, honor and trust. It always comes down to the question, where is my trust, or more correctly, in whom do I place my trust? Is it about me or HIM?

A Few Quotes on the Psalm:

Blessings are tangible, blessings are real, blessings are in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary, blessings are kingdom shaped, blessings are long term as well as now. - Pastor Hayhow - Emmanuel Evangelical Church, London

Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the christian. - GK Chesterton

We accept the announced and proclaimed truth that God is at the center of our existence... - Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Directionp.120

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The best of all the preachers are the men who live their creed. -Edgar Guest

Hmmmm? College Route

We met with an enrollment officer at A. College. It was a nice meeting. Seems like a authentic environment. The value for the sanctity of life is very evident. The 2 year program that bridges to a BSN would be an excellent fit. Not a lot of fluff in course work. We'll still look at a few other colleges and pray for the right course to be evident.
It is fun K. that you did a presentation today about a T map and well, you are more coincidentally mapping the course of your life. This should be fun.
We went to heart attack shack, otherwise known as Checker's, to celebrate. They do have great fries. You said, "I'm really glad they don't have campus housing, I want to live at home. I don't think I'd like dorms." On that - we agree. We want you to live at home and we don't like dorms either.
Then, once stuffed and happy, we started talking many some of the ways that God has given us peace in this course.
Pretty amazing.
Proud of you Kiddo.
OJ

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A thought that caught my attention

While at study tonight, during prayer, someone prayed that we would be able to distinguish the not only the good from the bad, but the good from the best. I have heard that somewhere before, and the Spirit of the Lord kept impressing the latter part on me. Settling for good is second rate, when God intends our best.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law,the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.James 1:22-25

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

$.42 worth from a Quotation Dicitonary

There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness. - Countess of Blessington (Are you Kidding? Is this an actual name? Really!)

Natural abilities are like natural plants; they need pruning by study. - Francis Bacon

This is no time for ease and comfort. It is a time to dare and endure. - Winston Churchill

The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind is curiosity. - Edmund Burke

There is danger when a man throws his tongue into high gear before he gets his brain a-going. -C.C. Phelps

The ship of heaven guides itself and will not accept a wooden rudder. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army. -Edward Everett

Exaggeration is truth that has lost its temper. - Kahlil Gibran

Expedients are for the hour. Principles for the ages. - Henry Ward Beecher

An extravagance is anything you buy that is of no earthly use to your wife. -Franklin P. Jones (So glad it doesn't go both ways =o} O.J.)

I always prefer to believe the best of everybody-it saves so much trouble. - Rudyard Kipling

Familiar acts are beautiful through love. -PB Shelley

A happy family is but an earlier heaven. -John Bowring

The family is one of nature's masterpieces. -George Santayana

The greatest firmness is the greatest mercy. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Always let your flattery be seen through for what really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering. -George Bernard Shaw

The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do. - Eric Hoffer

Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. -Kahlil Gibran

And gain is gain no matter how small. - Robert Browning
(This is going with my running quotes)

For everything you have missed you have gained something. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

If there is any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives. - Robert South

Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people. -Allen Beck

A little girl is innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by its foot. - Allen Beck

Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues but the parent of all the others. -Cicero

While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. you must wait till it be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the rest of it. _Samuel Johnson

Habit, if not resisted, soon become necessity. - St. Augustine

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length. -Robert Frost

I will never permit myself to stoop so low as to hate any man. _ Booker T. Washington

The main object of religion is not to get man into heaven but to get heaven into him. -Thomas Hardy

Home interprets heaven. Home is heaven for beginners.-Charles H. Pankhurst

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons. - Ralph Waldo Emerson (Beware of Saddam's "magic spoons")

It was pride that changed angels to devils; it is humility that makes men as angels. -St. Augustine

A man isn't poor if he can still laugh. -Raymond Hitchcock

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come. -Victor Hugo

Imagination is a quality given to a man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is. -Oscar Wilde

Slight small injuries and they will become none at all. -Thomas Fuller

There are no uninteresting things, there are only uninterested people. -GK Chesterton

The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love. -William Wordsworth

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. -Victor Hugo

The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and will to carry on. -Walter Lippmann

The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost. -GK Chesterton

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Somethings You only get to say a few times in your Life


DENVER BRONCOS TOOK THE TITANS on THIS DAY in HISTORY!

I did wait 10 days just to make sure the wounds had healed a little, that way you'll be less likely to choke while congratulating me on MY team's good game!

Thanks! I'll shut up now...and never mention it again. =0|

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Houston, We have Liftoff!

K. - what a great meeting w/ Mrs.M today! So funny to me about the bits and parts that seem to fit together. The shadow, the audit, the off campus living - wow! We now have whittled the list to 4 with a definite Plan A. Whoo Hoo - and I know you want to put the "too emotional hex" on me. You'll get over it.

That's amazing.

Thank you Lord for such an expedient answer to prayer for direction.

Coincidences are spiritual puns.
-GK Chesterton

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

College for Kiddo

K. yesterday we learned about what we've yet to do to get you in the college application and enrollment loop. Tonight we, at a college faire, looked at addtional options... a few new ideas. Tomorrow we'll have a meeting with with Mrs. M and continue this pressing progression.

As we left the faire, we were both tired, and I, at least, was feeling overwhelmed by it all. The sun had just set, the mountains were black against the redness of the sunset. You commented on the beauty. I thought and said at the same time, "If God can do that, surely, where and how you go to college is no big thing for Him". You kind of laughed and said, "Ya".



So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: "Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, 'To the unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for 'In him we live and move and have our being'. -Acts 17:22-28


So we press on... in adventure to see what God has and how He leads.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Home is Coming

Come, Ye Disconsolate

1. Come, ye disconsolate,
where'er ye languish,
Come to the mercy seat,
fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts,
here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrows
that heav'n cannot heal.

2. Joy of the disconsolate,
light of the straying,
Hope of the penitent,
fadeless and pure!
Here speaks the Comforter,
tenderly saying,
"Earth has no sorrows
that heav'n cannot cure."

3. Here see the Bread of Life,
see waters flowing
Forth from the throne of God,
pure from above.
Come to the feast of love;
come, ever knowing
Earth has no sorrows
but heav'n can remove.



This is my favorite hymn right now, it's words keeps coming to my mind. There are so many wonderful gifts that God gives us in this world, however, it is not perfect, never fully at peace.
The sorrow is a reminder, we are meant for a place that is so much more.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

5 K

K. - we did it. We finished our first 5K. We had quite a time. You were a great coach today. I was worried and apprehensive about racing publicly, thanks for hanging back and not smoking me. You certainly would have breezed in 15 to 20 minutes earlier had you chosen to fly solo. My thoughts, as you lovingly dragged me in a full sprint across the finish line, hand and hand with you, "This is the good stuff".



I am happy that we finished our first 5K, and doing it together was not only revealing but shoe loads of fun. I'm looking forward to our next. I'm at least a smidge amazed that you want there to be a next one.

That being said, I am so very proud of who you are. You made this day stellar. I hold my breath, tears come to my eyes, as I watch you running towards womanhood, it is lovely, God's faithfulness in your life stops me, astounds me, brings me to that place of wonder and thanksgiving.

Olive Juice!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Daily On My Way to Heaven: In Love for 63 Years

Daily On My Way to Heaven: In Love for 63 Years

K. Thought you would like this - it's sweet - I know how MUCH you love sweet stuff. Wanted you to see this page from my blogger friend, Becky's website. Made me think of Nana and Poppa.(click on the purple link)



Adversity is generally the rule in life, not the exception. Right choices are made amid the circumstances not because circumstances are primarily pleasant. To stay in love and to demonstrate it is a choice.


Mrs. M's lecture on Romanticism and True Romance is very apropos. One more thought on that subject, remember feeling follows fact, in otherwords act in love even when you're not "feeling" it. Where your volition carries your feet, your heart will soon follow.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
Ephesian 3:20,21

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Quote from my Big Brother

If you have the faith to pick up the sword, God will give you the strength to swing the thing. -J.S.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Impossible

Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.
- Doug Larson,


When you take on a God-sized challenge, self-sufficiency is no longer an option.
-Erwin McManus


It Couldn't Be Done



Somebody said that it couldn't be done,

But he with a chuckle replied

That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one

Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin

On his face. If he worried he hid it.

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn't be done, and he did it.


Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you'll never do that;


At least no one ever has done it";

But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,

And the first thing we knew he'd begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,

Without any doubting or quiddit,

He started to sing as he tackled the thing

That couldn't be done, and he did it.


There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,

There are thousands to prophesy failure;

There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,

The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,

Just take off your coat and go to it;;

Just start to sing as you tackle the thing

That "cannot be done," and you'll do it.

Edgar Guest


I've always loved this poem, it reminds me of my Mom, who is brillant, talented and by today's standards fairly uneducated as she only finished one year of college. She has spent her life raising 5 of hers, and 5 other children. She always has a new neighbor or friend who hangs around and blossoms under her humor and love. It is a hole that a loving mother might have filled but she is generous and her spirit is quite simply contagious. My Mom is a favorite among her grandchildren and has scores of elderly who love her for her kind words, unceasing prayers and infamous banana bread among her scads of other baked goods.

This poem can easily be taken with a humanistic viewpoint, but I chose to reinterpret the good and view it through the true lense of life. Christ in us the Hope of Glory.

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you,the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why is prayer necessary for the Christian?

Because it is the chief part of the graditude which God requires of us; and because God will give his grace and Holy Spirit only to those who sincerely beseech him in prayer without ceasing, and who thank him for these gifts.

Heidelberg Catechism




Grace follows the Law and the Law dies a 1000 deaths to Grace. -A. Munco

Sunday, September 12, 2010

If

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;



If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,

And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;



If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breath a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";



If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!




- Rudyard Kipling

K. copied this into her class notes last week.

Good thoughts as she prepares for college-

We're having college discussions.

Guessing other parents of seniors are having similiar conversations.

How do they grow so quickly? Big step...We hold our breathe.

Resolve to Suggest, Guide, Pray, Trust her in His hands.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Turning Back Time?

Two choices tonight really - blog or read. I might do both. I exercised at 9 pm. Not very smart because I am wide awake and it is now past 11. Anyway, I haven't blogged about Daily Mile or running yet. So I think I will now.

K. you challenged me to the Music City Half in May. I said cool, mostly because I was sad that you worry about my health and you are always inviting me to walk or do something at the rec. I started moving in June, talked with a serious runner friend, E., about a feasable plan to get ready for the Half in April, and discovered Daily Mile through the Grantian blog.

Many of my friends on DailyMile (DM) are moms, like me, several share my experience. They got busy raising and loving their families and just let "me" time things get pushed out because they enjoyed them to a lesser degree. I know and agree with the rhetoric of taking care of yourself helps you better care for your family, but it takes commitment at a time when you are infinitely overcommitted. So here I am, on the other side of raising our daughter, mostly, I have a lot more time, now that she is so independent - no more car pool for me (very sad indeed), she spends hours doing homework, does side jobs to make a little $ and has a bit of a social life. I hang around to wait for those magical moments to appear for her to unload all of her life stuff, and still - I have more time. So I've picked up running again.

I was a runner in college, and enjoyed running when E. and I were first married, we live out in the Santa Cruz Hills, it was perfect for running. We lived by a Monastic Retreat Center, E. would walk with a cup of coffee and I'd run down the road to loop my 5 miles then we'd walk home together. This last week, I walked/jogged 5 miles for the first time in 18 years. I'd stopped running when I went on bedrest with my pregnancy. I tried it again when K. was 3 or 4 but it didn't have enough appeal to actually make me want to leave K. or E. since I worked outside our home. I guess I just forgot I like to run.

Today, K. did half of my strength training with me. It was fun. She is such a cool kid. This age is really fun, it might even top preschooler, which is an amazing admission for me. She and I are going to run our first 5K the end of this month and I have another one scheduled with a friend in October. I am excited and a bit scared, I don't know if I will enjoy running around other people. It's only ever been something I've enjoyed doing alone. I guess I will find out.

So there it is, the reason for the little orange widget at the bottom of this blog. My daughter made me do it, and I'm very glad she did. AND if you want to start doing something you love like cycling,running,walking,swimming, or other fitness stuff I would recommend Daily Mile. It rocks! I have 4 or 5 ladies on there that I message with privately back and forth. We have become friends and training partners. We not only encourage eachother in fitness goals but discuss the joy of families,and also some of the hard things in life.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fav Photos

Black and Whites are so great!




We love the Santa Cruz Beach line. This was taken at Capitola Beach 10 or 11 years ago, by our friend Dina Jones, who also did our wedding photos. We used to walk to this beach and sit on the benches that overlooked the cliffs at least 4 times a week. K. loved to walk out on this jetty. I always held my breathe as she did. She has never been what you would call a "Girlie Girl". Even at her young age that quiet confidence and determination was shining through.






My friend, Jill Batson, took this after she had done some headshots for work this past winter. We were actually laughing trying to decide how we should pose and she started snapping. This photo is completely unflattering of us both, but alas, it is our very favorite.

Worthwhile

It is easy enough to be pleasant,

When life flows by like a song


But the man worthwhile is one who will smile,


When everything goes dead wrong.

For the test of the heart is trouble,

And it always comes with the years,

And the smile that is worth the praises of earth

Is the smile that shines through tears.


It is easy enough to be prudent,

When nothing tempts you to stray,

When without or within no voice of sin

Is luring your soul away;

But it's only a negative virtue

Until it is tried by fire,

And the life that is worth the honor on earth

Is the one that resists desire.


By the cynic, the sad, the fallen,

Who had no strength for the strife,

The world's highway is cumbered today;

They make up the sum of life.

But the virtue that conquers passion,

And the sorrow that hides in a smile,

It is these that are worthy the homage on earth

For we find them but once in a while.

- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Perspective on Leaking Water Pipes

BETTER THAN GOLD
Better than grandeur,
better than gold,

Than rank and titles a thousandfold,

Is a healthy body and a mind at ease,

And simple pleasures that always please.

A heart that can feel for another's woe,

And share his joys with a genial glow;

With sympathies large enough to enfold

All men as brothers, is better than gold.



Better than gold is a conscience clear,

Though toiling for bread in a humble sphere,

Doubly blessed with content and health,

Untried by the lusts and cares of wealth,

Lowly living and lofty thought

Adorn and ennoble the poor man's cot;

For mind and morals in nature's plan
Are the genuine test of an earnest man.


Better than gold is a peaceful home

Where all the fireside characters come,

The shrine of love, the heaven of life,

Hallowed by mother, or sister, or wife,

However humble the home may be,

Or tried with sorrow by heaven's decree,

The blessings that never were bought and sold,

And the center there, are better than gold.

- Abram J. Ryan



I have been looking for a poem the last few days, to have something to replace the water problem thoughts that have been popping into my head. It was a toss up between this one and Ella Wheeler Wilcox's "Worthwhile". Anyway, the point is, it is so much better for the soul, and consequently the mood, to focus on the good things of life rather than the trials, however insignificant they might be. (A water pipe, is in the "stuff" category of life- relationships, health and stuff - in that order)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

C S Lewis Quotes

The following quotes are from C.S.Lewis', not GK Chesterton, The Joyful Christian, a collection of Readings. It is always good food in a funk.



Fable is more historical than fact, because fact tells us about one man and fable tells us about a million men.




I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.



Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbor, act as if you did.



If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.

The most precious gift marriage gave me was this constant impact of something very close and intimate yet all the time unmistakably other, resistant-in a word, real.



Now Faith,... is the art of holding onto things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. ...That is why Faith is such a a necessary virtue: unless you teach your moods "where they get off," you can never be either a sound Christian or even a sound atheist, but jsut a creature dithering to and fro, with beliefs really dependent on the weather and the state of its digestion, Consequently, one must train the habit of Faith.



He is that Object to admire which is simply to be awake, to have entered the real world; not to appreciate which is to have lost the greatest experience, and in the end to have lost all.



The process of living seems to consist in coming to realize truths so ancient and simple that, if stated, they sound like barren platitudes. They cannot sound otherwise to those who have not had relevant experience: that is why there is no such teaching of real truths possible and every generation starts from scratch...



I have seen great beauty of spirit in some who were great sufferers.


Very often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it already. That is why children's games are so important. They are always pretending to be grown-ups-playing soldiers, playing shop. But all the time they are hardening their muscles and sharpening their wits, so that the pretense of being grown-ups helps them grow up in earnest.




Joy is the serious business of heaven.



This last bit from Mr. Lewis' reading reminds me again of the Song, "Come to the Feast of Love, here ever knowing - Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal." ("Come Ye Disconsolate" My Cry Ascends New Parish Psalms, G.Wilber)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Covenant


"They delight to contemplate the antiquity of that covenant, remembering that before the day-star knew its place, or planets ran their round, the interests of the saints were made secure in Christ Jesus. It is peculiarly pleasing to them to remember the sureness of the covenant,...

More especially it is the pleasure of God’s people to contemplate the graciousness of this covenant. They see that the law was made void because it was a covenant of works and depended upon merit, but this they perceive to be enduring because grace is the basis, grace the condition, grace the strain, grace the bulwark, grace the foundation, grace the topstone. The covenant is a treasury of wealth, a granary of food, a fountain of life, a store-house of salvation, a charter of peace, and a haven of joy."

C.H.Spurgeon, Morning and Evening : August 26th

Antiquity = the earliest times. Before that time, before time, we were set into covenant with Christ.
Perspective = A Viewing Lense.
Covenant = A blood agreement between 2 people, in relation to God, He sets the stipulations not us.
Grace = Christ's recompense imputed without merit.


When think about being in Christ, chosen, pursued, loved by the God who hung the planets, I have to laugh at the absurdity of my minor worries and the humor in the wringing of my hands. Perspective of WHO it is that loves me and WHO it is that keeps me.

Really it is not about me,it is about Him. He who holds and directs all of creation, history, and brings the bride - His Glorious Church, universal to Himself. Why? for His Glory.


The collateral grace of His Glory rains efficacious love. Astounding.