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.

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.

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


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.