Sunday, December 30, 2012

Ascribe to the Lord Glory

Ascribe to the Lord , O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord glory due His name;
worship the Lord in the spendor of holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirlon like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth in flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness,
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare,
and in His temple, all cry "Glory!"

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to His people!
May the Lord bless His people with peace!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Place of Praise...

A place of praise...they each found it, Mary and Zechariah.  They started at different places,belief and unbelief; and yet they ended in the same spot- glorifying God. This strikes me as funny that God directs not only belief, but more importantly, disbelief into praise in His chosen.  Hail Mary, full of grace - she has the right response from the beginning.  And the Zechariah, the priest and example, he wavers and kerfaphels and ends up right where Mary, itty bitty girlie, started.  Isn't is appropriate that God tells us the story upside down, because all of the story is upside down.  Strong become weak, that weak can be made strong.  So today, whether our weakness is shored in strength and we look in hope to His salvation or we are indeed, on the other shore, looking on at Christmas present in sadness and disbelief, with our weaknesses as yet, seemingly unsupported; His truth will always be true. Whereever we are, belief or unbelief, if we are His, and we are; and  we will end in a place of praise to Him and Him alone. He is I AM, There is no other.


The Song of Mary

Luke 1:46-55


Magnificat                                                                                                  Strasbourg, 1539

1. My soul will magnify

the Lord, who from on high

has blessed me with his favour.

His praises I will voice;

my spirit will rejoice

in him, my God and Saviour.


2. The Lord, so good and great,

looked on my lowly state.

Now will all generations

from age to age attest

how richly I am blest. 

Great is my exaltation!                                                      

3. How holy is his name!

The Mighty One, he came

and showed me his great favour.

With mercy he is near

to all who him revere;

his love endures forever.


4. His arm revealed his might,

for he has put to flight

all those who are proud-hearted,

and he pulled haughty ones

down from their lofty thrones;

the lowly he supported.                                                                           


5. Abundant gifts the Lord

has on the hungry poured;

their suffering he has ended.

The rich he sent away;

he, much to their dismay,

let them go empty-handed.


6. The Lord is merciful;

his servant Israel

he graciously delivered,

remembering evermore

what he to Abraham swore

and to his seed forever.



The Song of Zechariah

Luke 1:68-79


1.  Blest be the God of Israel,

for he has come to set us free;

in David’s house the Lord has raised

salvation’s horn for all to see.

He through his prophets long ago

said he would save us from our foe,

from all who scorn and hate us.

He has not put our fathers’ faith to shame

but, in his love remembering them,

has kept the oath he swore to Abraham.


2.  His faithfulness he has now shown,

that we might serve him without fear,

that all our days with upright hearts

we in his presence might appear.

Of you, my child, it will be said

that God Most High sent you ahead

as herald of salvation.

You will before the Lord prepare his way

and tell his people of the day

when he to them his mercy will display.


3.  As God has promised, all our sins

will be forgiven, swept away.

He from on high in tender love

will bless us with the glorious day

on which before our very eyes

the radiant Morning Sun will rise

to shine on us forever.

From death’s dark shadow he will grant release

and, when its tyranny shall cease,

will guide our feet into the path of peace.

Post Note-
Girlie, thanks for the reference to the hymns, loved this especially:
As God has promised, all our sins

will be forgiven, swept away.

He from on high in tender love

will bless us with the glorious day

on which before our very eyes

the radiant Morning Sun will rise

to shine on us forever.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Favorite Books of 2012

This is my list of favs for this past year.  I hope to finish a few more books before the end of the year as I've yet to reach my book goal -- but my method for compiling is fitting of my personality.  I jump in and start and it just gels or not.  Also I wanted to post this on 12, 12, 12 - ergo a list of 12 instead of 10 - a sneaking way of fitting a few more in... but as life would have it at on 12/12 at 12:12 I was herding 12 little kiddies towards lunch with my faithful sidekick P. when they were ready for nap instead of food.  It passed me by in bedlam without a slight recognition of what I was missing... I am pretty sure washing hands, dabbing a tear and telling one - she was headed for the chair if she didn't pick a toy right then was more important than throwing confetti at a clock in an already rummage through school room.
Ergo -- I read for the rest but a good rest of my life is spent reading kiddies!

1. The Baptized Body -  Peter Leithart...E and I read this as we prepared for our grandnephew's baptism, I then read it on my own and listened to it on Mp3.  I didn't grow up in a christian culture that accepted paedobaptism as a valid view.  This book really grew my excitement for the need of baptizing little ones and the true blessing, mandate and affect of it.  I plan to read the book on the Lord's Table this coming year as a follow up.
2. All Loves's Excelling - John Bunyan...This was a recommendation from a person I greatly admire. The insight in this book on sitting in God's love is both  humbling and hopeful.  It is best digested in small chunks as necessary pause for reflection is overwhelming and frequent.
3. Escape from Reason - Francis Schaeffer...This small book developed my appetite to know where and how philosophy has yanked the current culture off its intellectual rails.  It is written direct and clear, for me, for me that was helpful as philosophy - scares me just a little.  Schaeffer again reminds in this book, that if God is who He says He is, and He is, we have nothing to be afraid of.  That is reassuring to a non-conflict disposition - fuel for engagement.
4.  Wordsmithy - Douglas Wilson,...Picked it up - didn't stop except to underline, circle and make  notes. Anyone who wants to write better will appreciate this book.
5. Third Time Around - George Grant This is my favorite of Dr. Grant's books, it follows the history of the pro-life movement and the champions that fought valiently for the rights of women and children.  I love that so many missionaries I'd never heard of were included - I plan to go back through and find out more about the lives of several of these brothers and sisters that have gone before.
6. An Experiment in Criticism-C.S. Lewis.  This book plots the habit of reading and thinking and has one liners everywhere.  C.S. Lewis is one of my favorite writers and I loved the challenge set forth in this book.
7. Embracing Obscurity - Author obscure.  Part of the mystic of this book is that the author is unknown, yet I can think of a few handful of people who write it everyday with their lives.  I love the juxaposition of Joseph and Saul and the charts.  Convicting and convincing - this is a call to everyone that is called in Him.
8. Never Let a Fool Kiss You or a Kiss Fool You - Mardy Grothe   The enjoyment factor of this book should shoot it to my #1 position but it's a bit frivilous and at places gritty.  I had a great time playing with words and doodling after examples.  This is a great book to pick up if you want to play with words and laugh out loud.
9. Crisis, Opportunity and the Christian Future- Dr. James Jordan.  There was alot of new news to me in this tiny book.  My husband read it after me and we had some great talks - no doubt, when we pick it up again, we will have more great talks and enjoy the jaunt of the journey.
10.  Remember the Rhema - Donna Johnson.  This is a quick little read for remembering the word. It is more devotional that Kay Arthurs Studying God Word's, so it serves a different purpose.  I like it because it has a plan for get the Word to stick in the memory, -- cool beans!!
11. Bold Love - Dan Allender.  I read a few of his books this last year.  There are wonderful directives for living is a loving way without enabling others to cause more damage to themselves and you.  One line that changed me went something like: Trust God as you trust others, earth has no hurt that heaven can't heal.
12. Til We Have Faces- C.S. Lewis.  This was the first fiction book I'd read in quite a while.  Fiction is hard for me.  My sweet daughter recommended as a good place to start. The picture of fallen-ness and redemption are powerful, this would be a great book to read in a class setting.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Train Truth

This is an odd little tribute to thankfulness.  I just came downstairs after getting my little grandone down for nap.  He'd gotten up late, they spent the night last night, and his momma had to work this morning and  so I was hoping we'd get to spend all day together as we only get him two or three days a week.  I really like having him around.  Back to nappytime - he was unable to keep himself together, even two minutes of wait without letting whiny goblins loose, and so I, admitted I was wrong  to try to keep him up, and set out to put him down.  Part of the process, was a whimper that included, "I want you to read this book to me" - after we dealt with the way it was asked for - we began the book.  It is not only as classic, but it a hardback big book.  The sheer size is makes it one of C.'s favorites - just one problem...the book's general message, if left unattended, is one of a humanistic moralism.  Have you guessed the title?  What if I told you it involves a train, or four? Got it now?  Yeah, that's right - "The Little Engine that Could".  Underdogs, even sweet underdogs, triumphing in rugged individualism presents problems in the light of Truth. When questions and connections start rolling through the mind - a few discombobulates show up.  Like, ummm...I can do anything if I put my mind to it.  Or, what about, the idea of mercy - does it emanate from a person's choices or is it rather, a gift of God. 
When seen in the perspective of God as our motivator, we still cannot do anything, but yes, we can do the impossible, things we've never attempted - and it rightly leads to the good of others.  Motivation is the key, and desires are from whence all actions spring. 
When my grandone was looking at the large looming page when the Little engine is headed up the mountain, there were rocks all around the ground and even between the tracks, he exclaimed, "Oh, no!  He's gonna crash - he can't get around the rocks!"  I responded, "All he needs is for his wheels to stay on the tracks. He shouldn't look at the rocks."  Isn't that just like us, Jesus is our track, when our wheels are stayed on Him, the rocks are no danger.  It is if we go off the tracks - then we are lost...or at least until  the Engine Master sets us aright again. 
Mercy, is a beautiful thing, and God uses all things to accomplish and work in us His will, even the acts of evil, that we or others perpetrate.  God gave me a beautiful picture of that yesterday- but ah! that's another story. Back to the merciful Little Engine...I think I can, and I thought I could - are most often whispered, spoken or shouted emanating from a heart of self pride.  But there is a place, that God brings his children to when they can in humility say, "I think I can," and when God has brought them to a place they formally believes impossible to top-ple...there is a time they say, "I thought I could," and if the place is private, there heart will scream, "With YOU all things are possible." And if in public, it will be declared aloud, "Great is Our God, for He has done mighty deeds"  And we are left, right where we should be, in grace, in obscurity, and with a faith that has one more memory stone of the faithfulness of loving and kind God that has called us to be messengers of His mercy and grace to a desperate people.
There are other spiritual truths: like the engine who was too proud and lofty or the engine who had too much important work to stop to help the the likes of the lowly.  These traps are the ruts on either side of the tracks to every christian - best not to get off track; but when we do, and we will, good thing we have an Engine Master who set aright in bringing us to repentance.

 Maybe it's the two-year old teacher in me, maybe it's the questioner in me, or rather, maybe I'm just thankful that He is at the center of all God stories - even the ones that were written to exclude Him.
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness,  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ I am content with weakness."
Boasting in weakness = Humility
Sake of Christ = It's about Him - He brings His Kingdom
Contentment = Seeing our weakself in Him
Power = Comes in weakness

Thursday, November 15, 2012

No imitations needed...

Imputation is not an imitation...
     It is not about me -
          It is always about Him...
               that changes everything.

Then, I am in Him, His character imputed into me...
     Then I become about the other, as is He
            And loving one another
                  As He does...
                       AND that changes everything.

The Gift transforms us into gifts as He imputes His gifts of grace and love -
   We become His gift to a world...
         But we strive not, because then it is of us -
   We are His and He makes us
         We yield, submit, as He prepares us corporately to be His bride.

"Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."
Jude 21-23

The do is to rest on Him, and we learn the rest gets done.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A parable of pumpkins...

I love decorating for the seasons, especially Christmas - best season of ever; but fall is nice, too. This morning I was looking at my porch with its pumpkins and wreath and thanking the Lord, who harvest is plentiful, even with lessons.
But I need to back up, I went to the porch to deliver the big ol' marked down pumpkin that I picked up on yesterday's zip through the grocery store.  As I set it in the place of the other pumpkin, I noticed that its bumps and irregularity fit it perfectly to the corner of the top step of my stairs. Hmmm...funny, thought I.
It is true that some of things that fit us for our place are the bumps and scars that are so unseemly to the world.  If I had been looking for the perfect pumpkin - I wouldn't have chosen that one, yet it deep burnt orange, tall, and plump - just lovely and the squarishness of part even with its scars might aptly fit to my highest stoop. Which it did...hmmm.
The creator allows us pain filled scars and bumps to coincide with gifts and loveliness in other areas to fit us to the stoop he has designed for our habitation. So often I have embraced the bumps and scars or worst, yet, the gifts and accomplishments in other areas without seeing, it is wholeness, the entirety of it, that brings both beauty and usefulness. The idea of seeing God's hands moulding us in the blessing and adversity - and refusing to give up either. Refuse blessing? ANYONE? Refuse adversity? Everyone?
I find I can gauge my thankfulness and belief of God's sovereignty with this very question. Now, I am not saying that wisdom doesn't compel me to pray and act for the relief of adversity and sorrow.  But when God's answer comes back, "No, this is my will concerning you."  Then what?
Decision time: Do I trust that the bumps that I incur will be for my good. That He is good. That He is acting in my best interest and that give me blessing instead of adversity would be the act of an unloving Father - which He will not, and cannot be?
Funny ol' pumpkin with its scars and bumps...fitted for its place.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Grand Day...

It could more aptly be said to be a thankful day.  C., our grandnephew, spent the day and is snoozing on the couch. 
While zippy- doodling down the road, I heard him say from the back seat, "God is good!" My heart felt much bigger than my chest for a moment- C.'s outburst was most likely due to his reflecting on the cool bike and great slippers we'd just found at the Goodwill bins.
Later, I was again thankful that the only tool we hadn't lent out to the girls, was the ratchet wrench we needed to fit the new training wheels on that old bike - it worked perfectly. No rouge molecules or unshadowed moments, or anything new in this old world. God is good.
Those times when we see His loving goodness in the small, unextraordinary glimmers are, indeed, grand and extraordinary in deed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

This or the Other?

The War Within Already Won

Who am I? They often tell me
I stepped from my cell's confinement
calmly, cheerfully, firmly
Like a squire from his country-house.

Who am I? They often tell me
I used to speak to my warders
Freely and friendly and clearly,
As though it were mine to command.

Who am I? They also tell me
I bore the days of misfortune
Equally, smiling, proudly,
Like one accustomed to win.

Am I then really all that which other men tell of?
Or am I only what I myself know of myself?
Restless and longing and sick, like a bird in a cage,
Struggling for breath, as though hands were
compressing my throat.

Yearning for colors, for flowers, for the voice of the birds,
Thirsting for words of kindness, for neighborliness
Tossing in expectation of great events.
Powerlessly trembling for friends at an infinite distance.
Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making,
Faint and ready to say farewell to it all?

Who am I? This or the other?
Am I one person today and tomorrow another?
Am I both at once? A hypocrite before the others,
And before myself a contemptible, woebegone weakling?
Or is something within me still like a beaten army,
Fleeing in disorder from a victory already achieved?
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine,
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am thine.

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Weary and empty at praying, at thinking, at making, Faint" - I am this this -- He alone is the other. 

Isn't it lovely that He gives us joy through the moving, even when in ourselves, we are at end of all consievable expendable energy?
For this reason I bow my kness before the Father, for whom every family on heaven and earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you the power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God.

"The fullness of God" - now there's some serious expendable energy - grant your power to walk it today, Dear Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sweet Words from a Precious Poet

Teddy Bears do not have claws
But teeny, tiny velvet paws,
That softly brush away your tears
And push away your deepest fears.

Teddy Bears don't run away.
But ever grinning they will stay
Between your sheets and arms at night
When Mommy comes turn out the light.

Teddy Bears don't ask for much
Besides a warm and gentle touch
So hold them tight and don't let go-
Forget your worry and your woe.
-KCN  July 31, 2012

I was journal browsing and came across this poem that my daughter wrote during a trip we took this summer.  She is by far, my favorite poet...most of her stuff is pretty philosophical and has deep illusions to heady stuff - this one is straight forward, but I like it because it reminds me of when she was herself,  teeny, tiny.  Her teddy bear came in the form of a "Tommy" baby doll.  She still  has him, I spied him among her things at her new apartment and I couldn't help but smile.
Most of God's sweetest graces are found in the simplest gifts, time with our loved ones and seeing their perspectives on things is a grace gift - I am so thankful for those moments when I think my heart must burst from the joy of it.  It is indeed, a profound paradox, that a world with its deep fallen-ness can make a heart so forlorn and its smallest, sweet joys can make a heart exuberant.  I am very thankful that this world is not boring, vanilla perfect.  What kind of story would that be? 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

For You

The saints should never be dismayed
Nor sink in hopeless fear,
For when they least expect his aid,
The Savior will appear.

This Abraham found, he raised the knife;
God saw, and said, "Forbear!"
Yon, ram shall yield his meaner life;
Behold the victim there."

Once David seem'd Saul's certain prey;
But hark! The foes at hand;
Saul turned his arms another way,
To save the invaded land.

When Jonah sunk beneath the wave
He thought to rise no more;
But God prepared a fish to save
And bear him to the shore.

Blessed proofs of power and grace divine,
That meet us in His word!
May every deep-felt care of mine
Be trusted with the Lord.

Wait for His seasonable aid,
And though it tarry, wait:
The promise may be long delayed,
But cannot come to late.
-William Cowper
I ran into this in my journal and alighted on it... deep-felt care = promise long delayed.  Mr. Cowper is speaking my language.  Have you been there?  If you're breathing I trust you have, it's the way of Father - to have us needing him - and of course, we need to feel hunger before we seek our fill.
And we, being good parents, feed our children: how much more so our heavenly Father who is perfect.

A prayer from French Reformed Liturgy:

Do not fear, says the Lord for I have redeemed you, I called you by your name, you are mine.  When the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, says the Lord, my kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed.  Little child, for you Jesus Christ came into the world, labored and suffered; for you, he went through the agony of Gethsemane and the darkness of Calvary, for you, he cried:  It is finished!; for you he triumphed over death; yes, for you, little child, the declaration holds true, We love God, because he first loved us. Amen!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

When we long for life without difficulties remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.
-Peter Marshall

Friday, October 5, 2012

Beyond Number

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.


When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.


So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

The refrains of life give us the opportunity to count what exactly it is that the Lord has given in this poor fallen world to give thanks.  Do I thank God that the pits of my life are not filled with wild animals or water- that they are actually dry pits?  This is a blessing.  Otherwise, I would be drowned or eaten up - but as it is - it is a place to see Him even higher, even stronger, even there when the world thinks we should grumble and not praise.  It is a place to call on God, and in calling I find Him ever sweeter and able to do those things that never even enter my mindless brain.  So often, I am mindless of His graces, great, gargantuan graces - that lead us on from glory to glory.  Perfection coming through the gack and guck of all this fallen yuck - an opportunity for new eyes that let go of control and trust that it is He who santifies - and calls us his brothers and sisters.  No rouge molecules are here in this old world, and so when my worry makes me weary, He has caused me to remember -- His great and marvelous blessings beyond number.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Comedy of Death

The Convert

By G. K. Chesterton 1874–1936

After one moment when I bowed my head
And the whole world turned over and came upright,
And I came out where the old road shone white.
I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
Being not unlovable but strange and light;
Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
But softly, as men smile about the dead

The sages have a hundred maps to give
That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
They rattle reason out through many a sieve
That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
And all these things are less than dust to me
Because my name is Lazarus and I live.

I was looking for another poem of Chesterton's and ran again into this one.  As I read the last line, the idea of Lazarus' raising came back to me...the other day I was listening to a talk about Cowper and how the idea of Lazarus' raising gave him hope.  I don't know that the story has ever done the same for me and now pondered these two heroes of mine - I wonder what I have missed in the story.
The idea of being saved out of lamentable conditions - God invites us to cry out to him.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Daily Bread

There’s a restlessness in the soul of man;
nobody’s tamed it yet
You never fail to keep any promises
but somehow we forget-...
You have the wisdom and the patience; we need Your grace to see it clear

Too soon and we take it all for granted, too late and it’s more than we can bear.
So You’re always right on time, with an open hand,
You have exactly what I need-
"Daily Bread" - Jill Phillips from "Nobody's Got it All Together "
I am not sure if it was Jill or Andy who penned these words - but they are wonderful - I love this CD - you can also find it on noisetrade.

You have the wisdom and the patience; we need Your grace to see it clear, Too soon and we take it all for granted, too late and it’s more than we can bear. 

As I reflect on these lines so many thoughts come to mind. Do I mind the thought of crossing lines of sorrow that allow me to see the reflection of His face?  I do. I waiver between fear and faith as He grows the spiritual muscle necessary to stand still at His side.   My inclination rather than standing is often to fall full on the floor in a fit, or worse,  turn in full dart towards the more comfortable, albeit, deceitful and death bearing idol of denial of pain.    I am finding more and more that daily bread in times of sorrow  looks and feels like standing still and eating the pain with the truth that I can trust the Lord and throwing the fear away from me by repenting of my unbelief that He is other than "always right on time, with an open hand."

Friday, September 14, 2012


Pregunta 1
¿ Quién creó al hombre?
Respuesta: Dios.

Question 1: Who made you? Answer: God
Have you ever learned something in another language that makes you take a second look? Instead of using made - the Spanish version uses created (connotating Ex Nihilo) and instead of say you - the Spanish version say "man" and I am guessing as the universal. 

I wanted to add the Baby Catechism to my Itty Bittys Spanish Class - (just barely 3 to 4's )  So I thought that the translation would be something like  "Quien lo hizo? Dios." I always quesiton about teaching heresy,  so when teaching songs, scripture anything to do with God I get cautious and am very aware of my ignorance. 

I love that even the little bit of Spanish I know brings me back to the question of When I ask - Who made you? or ¿ Quién creó al hombre? it begs the question of me - have I also taught the something from nothing concept- with the wonder of all that God has made- it's center stage when teaching little ones. 

It's my goal to do Preguntas por ninos  towards the end of each week - mostly  because I like them, but I  also need to learn them if I expect to not trip over them as I teach.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Turn a people free, and they will produce.
- W. Gage

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Play Book or a Book for Play?

Yesterday, I noticed a new book on my dining room table, it's our family way -
 when we get packages they go on the table
 - as a kind of welcome home -
and the welcome is,  a kindness - in  this home.
I heard about this title from a lecture earlier this summer on writing,
It hooked me and now I am hooked on it.  
(Warning: Some content in this book is kiddo, and adult, inappropriate)
I got a great deal on this book of chiasmus,
and great deal of chiasmi are in this book. 
I know my writing continually in this manner is a little over done,
but if done over my writing manner just might improve continually.
And that being said, it's fun and funnily said-
So here it goes, and, I'll understand if you want to go from here.

Of Faith:

Through Christ's obedience
founded faith for life is given;
Given obedience lives
wherever faith is found.

Of Marriage:

State it simple-
Godly dominance invites true submission,
True submission welcomes godly dominance.
Simply stated-
Love begets loveliness,
Loveliness begets love.

An adoring husband loves his wife,
A loving wife adores her husband.

A marriage casts a reflection of God,
Godly reflection casts a marriage.

Of Sorrow:

In times of trouble,
do I hover and cover
and sight losses instead of God?
In troubled times
am I covered and hovered
by the God who never loses sight?

A few journal jots from last night's jaunt in my journal.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Kansas City Finds

The Day is Done
The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This little ditty was in one of the books I opened on my arrival home. Last month,  K, S. and I went to Kansas City - for a boxing tournament - K. brought home a belt and I sent home books before heading to see my fam.  While in KC we enjoyed a bit of the local flavor: Arthur Bryants BBQ was delicious and a little local bookshop called Steele's. It was glorious and treasure filled and a bit of a mess.  Our friend S. enjoyed browsing the classics - in the way they should be read- old, nicely printed and bound copies as opposed to those dime store dealies.  I think the owner has a bit of the book hoarder gene, but those in glass  houses shouldn't throw rocks, ...ahem- whoops!  The store's in North Kansas City, my only advise would be don't waste your time in the very back two rows - it had a lot of open theology garbage...unfortunately that stuff sells in today's market - all the more reason to pray  and work for a market change.

The poem is from a lovely copy of Oxford's Book of American Verse... it had me at Anne Bradstreet - but I must confess - the last several nights I've ended on this poem .  I love the imagery ...

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

and how's this for a request for your husband to read... 

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A picture is worth...

It doesn't matter what you look like on the outside,

its whats on the inside that counts.

Found this while blog hopping at  Love it.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

On the Lord's Day

"This life therefore
is not righteousness
but growth in righteousness;
not health but healing,
not being but becoming,
not rest but exercise.
We are not what we shall be
but we are growing toward it;
the process is not yet finished
but it is going on;
this is not the end
but it is the road.
All does not yet gleam in glory
but all is being purified."
~ Martin Luther ~

Six days we toil, pray, and work in Christ, by grace towards the coming of the Kingdom.  But, on this day, we rest, we worship together as His bride the church in small and large enclaves all around this huge world to give Him thanks for who He is, for His rescue of us, and as a bit of a reminder that heaven is coming.
Do not be afraid, I bring good news of great joy that will be for all people. -Luke 2:10

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


“We — or at least I — shall not be able to adore God on the highest occasions if we have learned no habit of doing so on the lowest. At best, our faith and reason will tell us that He is adorable, but we shall not have found Him so, not have ‘tasted and seen.’ Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of experience.” - C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm Chiefly on Prayer

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular; it is why he does it." - A. W. Tozer
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Do you know Wilma?

This story is from Liz Cutis Higgs, I have only been acquainted with her children's stories (The Parable of the Pumpkin Patch,  my favorite, she also has the Parable of the Lily, and a few others) until today, I read, "Help! I'm laughing and I Can't Get Up" while enjoy the brief coolness of our front porch this morning.

When Eve Met the Snake, She Wasn't Dressed Either
It was a hot, dry summer on Betty and Lloyd's Kansas farm, so hot that everyone was looking for a cool, shady place to camp out, including the snakes.  Betty lived in an old rock houses, and they were in the process of adding a bathroom.  One evening as she was toweling off after a refreshing bath in the unfinished bathroom, Betty heard something scritch, scritching across the bathroom floor.
Glancing in the direction of the noise, she spotted a spine-tingling, fear-inducing sight: A snake was headed right for her!  With a leap and a bound that would put Superman to shame, she raced through the bedroom, dining room, and kitchen and was out the door, across the porch, and to the end of the walk where her husband intercepted her mad dash.
Betty admits, "coming to my senses, I realized I did not have on a stitch of clothing,  Modesty overcoming fear, I sheepishly and cautiously went back in the house, covered myself with a tea towel and perched on the kitchen table until Lloyd disposed of the harmless garden snake."
Were her troubles over?  Of course not.  She began fretting about their neighbors, John and Mattie, who lived across the road.  Had they been sitting on their screened in porch?  Betty's exit had been fast but far from quiet.  Had she attracted their attention?
She would soon find out, since she worked with Mattie.  She avoided her at work the next day, and instead described her great adventure to her best friend, Wilma, including her fear that she might have provided a free "peep" show for her neighbors. 
Betty explains, "Wilma soothed me as a good friend would and assured me she would discreetly find out if Mattie was aware of any goings-on at our house.  Lunchtime came, and Wilma gave me the bad news.  Mattie and John had been sitting on the porch.  They heard the shrieks and saw the whole thing."
Betty avoided her neighbors for the next few weeks until one day Wilma confessed the truth:  Mattie knew nothing, heard nothing, and saw nothing!
I think I'd be more afraid of Wilma than a garden snake.

After I quit laughing, the last line, it stuck to me.  Hmmmm....Fretting over what might be... do you ever do that?  I fret over what I could of, should of, or might have done, to help or to offend someone.  Well, God has his finger on it, and the thought came to mind, how often, I have let "Wilma", let's call it the Devil, tells me stories that bring angst, and that kind of brain noise - brings about a loss of relationship because we lose our freedom in the fretting.  Not so funny.
God didn't design us for fret but for freedom.

Friday, June 29, 2012

A New Find...

For a few years we have driven by an old bookshop here in Nashville, invariably it was closed.  Today, we made our plan to visit, knowing we'd be in the area during business hours. After a quick breakfast, we babbled on over to the bookstore hoping it to be as good as our imaginations had surmised-  "Elder's Bookstore - Tennessee's Oldest and Finest", that's what the card reads -after our short seventy minute visit and a grocery bag of books -we vehemately agree.  We made many finds, our eyes were definately bigger than our pocketbook and the fact, we really did leave with a Harris Teeter bag full of finds, attests to our delish choice to eat rice and beans or whatever else is already in the cupboard, for the week, to feast on printed page.  What fun!

The great trust between man and man is the of trust of giving Cousell.  For in the other confidences men commit parts of their life; their lands, their goods, their children, their credit, some particular affaire; but to such, as they make their Counsellours, they commit the whole: by how much the more they are obligated to all faith and integrity.  The wisest Princes need not thinke it an diminution to the greatnesses, or derogation to their sufficiency, to rely upon Counsell.  God himelfs is not without; but hath made it one of the great names of his blessed Sonne; The Counsellor.  ...Principis est virtus maxima nosse suos... The true composition of a Counsellor, is rather to be skilful in their master's business, then in his nature; for then he is like to advise him, and not feed his humours. -Francis Bacon The Effayes - Of Counsell
We picked up a leather bound copy of this, by Easton Press, along with a copy of Donne's poetry and Moby Dick for K.  We also got a few old copies of other books - Boswell's biography of Samuel Johnson and some sermons.  It was a delightful, productive I am sure we'll repeat as soon as our pocketbook rebounds.  Have you gleened from this post, that if you ever visit Nashville, you should make the trip to Ellingston Place to find Elder's - you should - you definately should.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Prayer on the door of St. Stephens Catherdral

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.


I ran across this prayer again, today.  I have often prayed it for my home.  As my friend and I did craft projects we talked about the trials of life.  My friend and I - we are direct opposites and love each other's strengths - isn't that funny!  Sometimes, opposite's directions when coming upon the same problem can cause strife.  It is wonderful when it can be a means of blessing eachother. She is teaching me how to be direct, which is wonderful when I talk with my daughter and  she says I'm teaching her how to talk preschooler when addressing her two year old.  Isn't it a blessing that we can learn from eachother's giftings how to grow in our own lives and to His kingdom's glory.  Blessed be His name.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Love deep and wide and full and free

We started a new study on Pilgrim's Progress.  This is a really beautiful book, especially for young ones. The introduction included the editor's poem about the work...

The shadow of a wooden cross

A rising Son displayed.
In that place and on that day
An ancient debt was paid.

Prophetic Word merged with flesh,
With love bound to a tree.
There justice met with mercy
For all the world to see.

Divine the name of Him who hangs
With emblem wounds of glory,
Page of light that turned the night
Into a different story.

Joy was mixed with agony
That day upon the tree.
Reflecting on the Book of Life
My Savior thought of me.

Love deep and wide and full and free,
Love priceless and apart,
Love stained with crimson hues and tears
Has entered human hearts.

Look up, dear soul, and fix blind eyes
Upon the Savior’s tree
And you will find as others have,
He makes the sightless see.

An unexpected resting place
Was found beneath that tree,
Where all my burdens came undone
And I found liberty.
-CJ Lovik

Now, this is one of several different copies at our home, our favorite and most precious is the one K. brought back from London, however, with the lovely typeset and beautiful illustrations ( a must for an allegory) I find this edition simply irresistible.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Growing Up in Earnest

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. -C S Lewis

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Testing Point

Courage is not simply one of the virtues,
but the form of every virtue at the testing point,
which means at the point of highest reality.
A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger
will be chaste or honest or merciful only on condition.
Pilate was merciful until it became risky.
-C.S. Lewis The Screwtape Letters

I am cleaning out my office and found a church bulletin from last summer.  It had this Lewis quote.  I thought it might be from Mere Christianity, I googled it and it was not. But, my favorite passage in the Hebrews (10:39) came up in the search - where it admonishes "but we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed but of those who believe and are saved."  Dr. Piper links this quote and verse together here
I had to smile when I saw that; as true courage is never of ourselves - it is one more gift in His plethora of grace to us.  There is always a breaking point in the testing, a condition I cannot withstand without more grace; more grace than has been granted to me up to that point.  God is always about the business of beckoning me to trust Him more; the gift of testing points make me utterly dependant for His greater grace in my, our lives.  McManus said it kind of  like this, "when it comes to a God - sized challenge, self sufficiency ceases to be an option."  True.  Don't you just love that? Reality check - It's not about me, it is always, always about HIM.  When the testing points come, as they inevitably must, if I am to grow into who He is calling me to be - it is HE who holds me and not other way around. Phew! Now that's a relief.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
- Psalm 139

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Word Pictures

The Altar

A broken ALTAR, Lord thy servant rears,
Made of a heart, and cemented with teares:
Whose parts are as thy hand did frame;
No workman's tool hath touch'd the same
A HEART alone
Is such a stone,
As nothing but
Thy pow'r doth cut.
Wherefore each part
Of my hard heart
Meets in this frame,
To praise thy Name:
That if I chance to hold my peace,
These stones to praise thee may not cease.
O let thy blessed SACRIFICE be mine,
And sanctifie this ALTAR to be thine.

George Herbert is a new find for me.  I was flipping through Norton's and found this.  Shaped and spaced poems particularly appeal to me... an elude to my visual learning style.   This subject matter is weighty.  A broken altar - that reoccurring paradox - that in dying - we are raised to life.     It is one study that no one wants to descend to - but once studied, no one would dare resend it's gift.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Happy Birthday...

We celebrated K's bithday today... she is eighteen. Her favorite dinner, tuesday at the movies and fresh flowers from our neighbor's garden.  My, how the years have flown.  Our girl loves to write ... we realize it is not just words on the page that she writes - but also a life.  The words of Richard Wilbur becomes ours, "It is always a matter, my darling, Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish What I wished you before, but harder."

The Writer

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.

Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.

But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.

I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash

And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark

And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,

And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,

It lifted off from a chair-back,
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.

It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.

-Richard Wilbur

In your book were written every one of them;
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there were none of them.
How precious are your thoughts, O God!
How vast the sum of them!
...They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
Search me, O God, know my heart.
Lead me in the way everlasting.
-Psalm 139
May your life ever be a beacon of His goodness
and a refutation to His enemies.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Antique Valentines

Today was a good day.  We had a particularly hard week and we have been talking about getting away for some time.  Yesterday, we made our escape, we packed a bag quickly and headed off - not going anywhere in particular but just somewhere to decompress.

As we headed down the road I mentioned to E. that I'd seen a few antique shops somewhere along that highway - I didn't know if it was 40 minutes or two hours - so  after driving for some time, and seeing no shops we took an exit that looked promising for food and lodging.  The road curled around and I considered it definate providence that inside of 10 minutes the antique shops I had mentioned appeared in view.  We just had to stop there! 

This morning E. had a Skype conference so I thought it good chance to check out those shops.  E. didn't protest- he walks into antique shops with many of the same thoughts, I suspect, as getting out the mower and making my yard pretty.  He does it for the pleasure of seeing my face brighten, period.  Good man.

The dishes and table linens were lovely, and one booth had a whole mess of antique valentines, I perused and chuckled and moved on - a bit pricey -  I didn't like them quite as much as booth's owner did. Cute as they were.

Next on my list was the books.  I love old books and great deals.  I found one book on biblical economics, a buck, what a steal and then to my surprise, I found a valentine. 

 My valentine, from the lover of my soul.  I have had that book on my Amazon list for at least 5 months - I'd never ordered it  because I have it on kindle. I grabbed it up, no price.  Strange.  I took my finds to the register and waited.  The clerk asked me where I found it, "It was on the same shelf as the other", I replied. I paid the $2.28 and walked out of the door, and out of his earshot, and squelled, "Thank you Jesus, isn't that just like you" - thinking - to send me a valentine after a tough week.

 I was no longer wanting to browse antiques, the second shop would need to wait for another day.  I wanted Fivebucks Starbucks and to read my valentine.

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.
(Php 2:1-4 NRSV)

Christ is, indeed, our encourager and consoler.  And now, for another chapter of my valentine.