Monday, December 28, 2009

Quote on Psalm 31, verse 22

Verse 22. I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes, etc. Let us with whom it was once night, improve that morning joy that now shines upon us. Let us be continual admirers of God's grace and mercy to us. He has prevented us with his goodness, when he saw nothing in us but impatience and unbelief, when we were like Jonas in the belly of hell, his bowels yearned over us, and his power brought us safe to land. What did we to hasten his deliverance, or to obtain his mercy? If he had never come to our relief till he saw something in us to invite him, we had not yet been relieved. No more did we contribute to our restoration than we do to the rising of the sun, or the approach of day. We were like dry bones without motion, and without strength. Eze 37:1-11. And we also said, that `we were cut off for our parts, and our hope was gone, and he caused breath to enter into us, and we live.' Who is a God like to our God that pardoneth iniquity, transgression, and sin? that retains not his anger for ever? that is slow to wrath and delights in mercy? that has been displeased with us for a moment, but gives us hope of his everlasting kindness? Oh! what love is due from us to Christ, that has pleaded for us when we ourselves had nothing to say! That has brought us out of a den of lions, and from the jaws of the roaring lion! To say, as Mrs. Sarah Wright did, "I have obtained mercy, that thought my time of mercy past for ever; I have hope of heaven, that thought I was already damned by unbelief; I said many a time, there is no hope in mine end, and I thought I saw it; I was so desperate, I cared not what became of me. Oft was I at the very brink of death and hell, even at the very gates of both, and then Christ shut them. I was as Daniel in the lion's den, and he stopped the mouth of those lions, and delivered me. The goodness of God is unsearchable; how great is the excellency of his majesty, that yet he would look upon such a one as I; that he has given me peace that was full of terror, and walked continually as amidst fire and brimstone." - Timothy Rogers. (As quoted in The Treasury of David by Spurgeon)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Psalm 31 Quotes, Part 2

'Verse 5.--"Into thine hand."
Receive me then, O Eternal Father, for the sake of our Lord's merits and words; for he, by his obedience and his death, hath now merited from thee everything which I do not merit of myself. Into thy hands, my Father and my God, I commend my spirit, my soul, my body, my powers, my desires. I offer up to thy hands, all; to them I commit all that I have hitherto been, that thou mayest forgive and restore all; my wounds, that thou mayest heal them; my blindness, that thou mayest enlighten it; my coldness, that thou mayest inflame it; my wicked and erring way, that thou mayest set me forth in the right path; and all my evils, that thou mayest uproot them all from my soul. I commend and offer up into thy most sacred hands, O my God, what I am, which thou knowest far better than I can know, weak, wretched, wounded, fickle, blind, deaf, dumb, poor, bare of every good, nothing, yea, less than nothing, on account of my many sins, and more miserable than I can either know or express. Do thou, Lord God, receive me and make me to become what he, the divine Lamb, would have me to be. I commend, I offer up, I deliver over into thy divine hands, all my affairs, my cares, my affections, my success, my comforts, my labours, and everything which thou knowest to be coming upon me. Direct all to thy honour and glory; teach me in all to do thy will, and in all to recognise the work of thy divine hands; to seek nothing else, and with this reflection alone to find rest and comfort in everything.' - Fra Thome de Jesu.

'Verses 9-10:--

If thou wouldst learn, not knowing how to pray,
Add but a faith, and say as beggars say:
Master, I'm poor, and blind, in great distress,
Hungry, and lame, and cold, and comfortless;
O succour him that's gravelled on the shelf
Of pain, and want, and cannot help himself
Cast down thine eye upon a wretch, and take
Some pity on me for sweet Jesus' sake:
But hold! take heed this clause be not put in,
I never begged before, nor will again. —Francis Quarles.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A Bundle of Quotes

Hello! I have been absent here for a while. I thank the the Lord, Yahweh*, for giving me an encouraging four weeks with my brother and sister-in-law and some lovely experiences lately with friends.
*Have I suddenly gone Jewish/Messianic? No, but a friends' article about the name/s of God not being used enough has given me pause. We are to praise the name of God, are we not? If this just means the general being and attributes of God, then maybe it's not so important to use His original name, but it's something to think about and if true, apply at times.
~
I didn't know that The Treasury of David was online! Well, this will save me some typing. :) You can read the entire book here. Which makes my quotes a little superfluous, but then, sometimes it's more inviting to read little sections rather than the whole. Bible verses are in blue.

Psalm 31, verse 18:
Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
'Proud thoughts of self are generally attended by debasing estimates of others. The more room we take up ourselves, the less we can afford our neighbours. What wickedness it is that unworthy characters should always be the loudest in railing at good men!
' - Charles Spurgeon

Verse 20.
Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the
pride of man.

'Dwellers at the foot of the cross of Christ grow callous to the sneers of the haughty. The wounds of Jesus distil a balsam which heals all the scars which the jagged weapons of contempt can inflict upon us; in fact, when armed with the same mind which was in Christ Jesus, the heart is invulnerable to all the darts of pride. Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. Tongues are more to be dreaded than beasts of prey—and when they strive, it is as though a whole pack of wolves were let loose; but the believer is secure even in this peril, for the royal pavilion of the King of kings shall afford him quiet shelter and serene security. The secret tabernacle of sacrifice, and the royal pavilion of sovereignty afford a double security to the Lord's people in their worst distresses. Observe the immediate action of God, "Thou shalt hide, " "Thou shalt keep," the Lord himself is personally present for the rescue of his afflicted.' - Charles Spurgeon

Verse 22.
Confession of faults is always proper; and when we reflect upon the goodness of God, we ought to be reminded of our own errors and offences. For I said in my haste. We generally speak amiss when we are in a hurry. Hasty words are but for a moment on the tongue, but they often lie for years on the conscience. I am cut off from before thine eyes. This was an unworthy speech; but unbelief will have a corner in the heart of the firmest believer, and out of that corner it will vent many spiteful things against the Lord if the course of providence be not quite so smooth as nature might desire. No saint ever was, or ever could be, cut off from before the eyes of God, and yet no doubt many have thought so, and more than one has said so. For ever be such dark suspicions banished from our minds. Nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee. What a mercy that if we believe not, yet God abideth faithful, hearing prayer even when we are labouring under doubts which dishonour his name. If we consider the hindrances in the way of our prayers, and the poor way in which we present them, it is a wonder of wonders that they ever prevail with heaven.
' - Charles Spurgeon

Verse 23 (a).
'O love the Lord, all ye his saints. A most affecting exhortation, showing clearly the deep love of the writer to his God: there is the more beauty in the expression, because it reveals love toward a smiting God, love which many waters could not quench. To bless him who gives is easy, but to cling to him who takes away is a work of grace. All the saints are benefited by the sanctified miseries of one, if they are led by earnest exhortations to love their Lord the better. If saints do not love the Lord, who will? Love is the universal debt of all the saved family: who would wish to be exonerated from its payment? Reasons for love are given, for believing love is not blind.
' - Charles Spurgeon

Verse 24.
'Be of good courage. Keep up your spirit, let no craven thoughts blanch your cheek. Fear weakens, courage strengthens. Victory waits upon the banners of the brave. And he shall strengthen your heart. Power from on high shall be given in the most effectual manner by administering force to the fountain of vitality. So far from leaving us, the Lord will draw very near to us in our adversity, and put his own power into us. All ye that hope in the Lord. Every one of you, lift up your heads and sing for joy of heart. God is faithful, and does not fail even his little children who do but hope, wherefore then should we be afraid?' - Charles Spurgeon

Verses 1-3.

'Shadows are faithless, and the rocks are false;
No trust in brass, no trust in marble walls;
Poor cots are even as safe as princes' halls.

Great God! there is no safety here below;
Thou art my fortress, thou that seemest my foe,
It is thou that strik'st the stroke, must guard the blow.

Thou art my God, by thee I fall or stand;
Thy grace hath given me courage to withstand
All tortures, but my conscience and thy hand.

I know thy justice is thyself; I know,
Just God, thy very self is mercy too;
If not to thee, where, whither shall I go?'
—Francis Quarles.

And...I think I'll leave a little for next time. I hope these have been encouraging to you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Psalm 30, Paraphrased

Here is a poem based on Psalm 30, written by C. H. Spurgeon (which cannot compare with the original Scripture, of course, but this is still lovely and encouraging):

I will exalt thee, Lord of hosts,
For thou'st exalted me;
Since thou hast silenced Satan's boasts,
I'll therefore boast in thee.

My sins had brought me near the grave,
The grave of black despair;
I look'd but there was none to save,
Till I look'd up in prayer.

In answer to my piteous cries,
From hell's dark brink I'm brought:
My Jesus saw me from the skies,
And swift salvation wrought.

All through the night I wept full sore,
But morning brought relief;
That hand, which broke my bones before,
Then broke my bonds of grief.

My mourning he to dancing turns,
For sackcloth joy he gives,
A moment, Lord, thine anger burns,
But long thy favour lives.

Sing with me then, ye favoured men,
Who long have known his grace;
With thanks recall the seasons when
Ye also sought his face.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Lord's Day

A Sabbath well spent brings a week of content, and health for the toils of tomorrow,
but a Sabbath profaned whate’er may be gained is a certain forerunner of sorrow.

-Sir Matthew Hale

Make the Lord’s Day the market for thy soul.
-John Bunyan

There is nothing in which I would recommend you to be more strictly resolute than in keeping the Sabbath holy. I can truly declare that to me the institution of the Sabbath has been invaluable.
-William Wilberforce


Just read this interesting short article, which basically goes along with what I believe concerning the Sabbath, though I'm still learning and thinking about it. I don't know that the verse in Hebrews applies the way they said (if you think so, explain it to me, please!), but otherwise it's pretty good and inspiring.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

'Open rebuke is better
Than love carefully concealed.
Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb,
But to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.'
-Proverbs 27:5-7

As hard as criticism can be, sometimes it is necessary, loving, and helpful. Have I finally learned this? Thanks to God, I have experienced some of it this last week, though I'm sure I won't always take rebuke well or listen to sound advice (neither did I take this well in every respect). It is both hard to give and receive reproof.

If you look up the word "rebuke" on someplace like www.biblegateway.com, you will find many references in relation to the wisdom of taking advice, especially in the Proverbs.

I hope I continue to listen, learn, and put into practice what I have heard and learned this week and always! God has been so good to put these people in my life, and to open my eyes to things I had not seen before in His law!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Quotes

Well, I've gotten off my little schedule idea, but that's okay. Maybe I'll get back into it, maybe not.

I've read a few good quotes in The Treasury of David book, lately.

Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me, lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. - Psalm 28:1

(I'm shortening this section. I'd recommend the whole section, if you have the book.)
'Verse 1.--"Unto thee do I cry." Dear reader, in the time of your trouble, do not roam; do not send out your sighs into vacancy; do not let your thoughts wander, as though they were looking for some one on whom to fix; for some one to whom you could tell the story of your heart's need and desolation. Fix your heart as the Psalmist did, and say, 'Unto thee will I cry." . . . Oh! how happy is that man, who feels and knows that when trouble comes, he cannot be bewildered and confused by the stroke, no matter how heavy it may be. Sorrow-stricken he will be, but he has his resource, and he knows it, and will avail himself of it. His is no vague theory of the general sympathy of God for man; his is a knowledge of God, as a personal and feeling God; he says with the Psalmist, "Unto thee will I cry." - Phillip Bennett Power.

'Verse 1.--"My rock. One day a female friend called on the Rev. William Evans, a pious minister in England, and asked how he felt himself. "I am weakness itself," he replied; "but I am on the Rock. I do not experience those transports which some have expressed in the view of death; but my dependence is on the mercy of God in Christ. Here my religion began, and here it must end."'

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Feelin' Feminine Challenge - Days 2-6

I guess I missed a day, but here are the ones I took pictures of. I wasn't very creative with hair-styles; just rotated through two or three that I usually do.

Day 2 (blue top from T.J. Maxx, skirt thrifted, shoes from Target):

Day 3 (skirt thrifted, blue top and layering shell ??, shoes given to me, but they're "Earth Shoes"):
Day 4 (at a museum, not the best pic, I know--skirt thrifted, shoes same as day before, lavender top, which has puffed sleeves and a belt from Bealls Outlet or J.C. Penny?, and jacket from Target?):
Day 5 (My mom, sister, and I all dressed in similar outfits for church--without even meaning to! My outfit is from Ross, I believe, and Annie's purple blouse is from T.J. Maxx, her black skirt is from Cato and shoes from Khol's):
Day 6 (dress bought from an online friend, shoes Target, and headband ??--I wore a blue outfit that evening, but didn't get a good picture of it):

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sale at Vision Forum

Looking for an inspiring gift for someone, or something for yourself? There are lots of good books, CDs, and such here which are on clearance from now through tomorrow!

Feelin' Feminine Challenge - Day 1

If you want to take part, click HERE to read more about it, and both HERE and HERE to link to your blog.

Here's my outfit for the day. I'm not very good at hair-styles, and I usually leave mine down or in a pony-tail, but I'll try to do better in the next few days.
I almost always wear skirts, so that part won't be hard for me, but I wanted to join in and encourage others to participate. Wearing skirts and feminine clothing has been enjoyable for me throughout my life, and perhaps has made me feel more like a lady, too.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Weekly Update & A Quote

This week has been full of blessings, as always. And yet my heart quakes with fear at my own apathy and sin. Yet I believe God is my Savior, truly all the hope I have. May God be gracious to me, a sinner, and renew me in Christ. (And may the Lord bless you all, as well!)

We had a wonderful time with some friends from church this week--Mrs. H. and her daughter. They brought some homemade sauces along to share, and we had a great time talking and learning from one another.

May this verse and quote be encouraging to you, from The Treasury of David on Psalm 27 verse 14. ('Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.')

'Think not that the government is out of Christ's hand, when men are doing many sad things, and giving many heavy blows to the work of God. No, no; men are but his hand; and it is the hand of God that justly and righteously is lying heavy upon his people. Look above men, then; you have not to do with them: there is a turn of matters, just as he pleased to turn his hand.' - Ralph Erskine, 1685-1752

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Schumann on Saturday

Here are four short movements from "Scenes from Childhood" by Schumann. Hope you enjoy!

Blind Man's Bluff

Pleading Child

Perfectly Contented

Important Event

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Of Long Life and God's Gifts

I just read an interesting article HERE, that might be helpful health-wise. Maybe I should stop eating supper....Of course, true long life (everlasting life!) comes through Jesus Christ. And other things in the Bible are mentioned in connection with long life.

'Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.' - Deuteronomy 5:16

'My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.'
-Proverbs 3:1, 2

Are these speaking of long life on earth, or everlasting life, or both? I really am not sure. Long life on the earth is not the most important, as 1 Kings 3 and Proverbs testify. Wisdom, fear of God, is the principal thing.

'Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.'
-Proverbs 4:7

~~
Today I started a journal for thanksgiving and prayers and answers. Like the song "Count Your Blessings" says, if you count them, it will surprise you what the Lord has done--how much you really are blessed.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Coming Home


Coming Home
by Melissa M.
(9-18-09)

So many things take our hearts and affections,
Distractions abound.
But nothing fulfills like the Word of God,
His grace will surround.

When wandering to wells deep but broken,
We drink empty foam.
Learning about Jesus, God in the flesh,
Is like coming home.


From Another Sore Fit
by Anne Bradstreet

In my distress I sought the Lord
When naught on earth could comfort give,
And when my soul these things abhorred,
Then, Lord, Thou said’st unto me, “Live.”

Thou knowest the sorrows that I felt;
My plaints and groans were heard of Thee,
And how in sweat I seemed to melt
Thou help’st and Thou regardest me.

My wasted flesh Thou didst restore,
My feeble loins didst gird with strength,
yea, when I was most low and poor,
I said I shall praise Thee at length.

What shall I render to my God
For all His bounty showed to me?
Even for His mercies in His rod,
Where pity most of all I see.

My heart, I wholly give to Thee;
O make it fruitful, faithful Lord.
My life shall dedicated be
To praise in thought, in deed, in word.

Thou know’st no life I did require
Longer than still Thy name to praise,
Nor ought on earth worthy desire,
In drawing out these wretched days.

Thy name and praise to celebrate,
O Lord, for aye is my request.
O grant I do it in this state,
And then with Thee, which is the best.


' “ Therefore I will yet bring charges against you,” says the LORD,
“And against your children’s children I will bring charges.
For pass beyond the coasts of Cyprus and see,
Send to Kedar and consider diligently,
And see if there has been such a thing.
Has a nation changed its gods,
Which are not gods?
But My people have changed their Glory
For what does not profit.
Be astonished, O heavens, at this,
And be horribly afraid;
Be very desolate,” says the LORD.
“For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.'
-Jeremiah 2:9-13

(Paintings by Benjamin Leader and James Tissot)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday Weekly (?) Update

I didn't do an update last week, did I? There have been a few interesting things going on. We went to the opening of our new library. It's a neat building with tall ceilings. It even has a genealogy room, which my sister, Annie, especially likes. :) And it has a nice used bookstore, which also includes videos and DVDs.

Here are a few pics from that day and another day at the library. (Not so much OF the library, but flowers are prettier.)

(Another bee kindly posed for me.)

(Annie in the genealogy room.)

We've enjoyed our times at church. Sound messages, not short and fluffy, lots of hymns, times of prayer requests and the Lord's Table, great fellowship with believers at the lunch meal, etc. All of us have been getting to know people better and feeling really welcome.

(Jillian and I were surprised to see that we had matching outfits on this week.)

We have had some families over and met at others' houses for meals and fellowship.

This Lord's Day after church we had the S. family over for a simple supper and a time of hymns and Handel and conversation. They're a sweet family.

We've been working on some projects, such as gifts for babies, a simple tablecloth, and of course my watercolor paintings.

Today was a nice rainy day (we need the rain!), and I made some cappuccino/chocolate cookies.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tuesday - Things I've Been Working On

Just finished the painting of the Lions' Gate (top right), and am currently working on the Damascus Gate (bottom). Every painting starts out with a sketch like this.

Monday, September 7, 2009

M for Memory


Chickadee in a Snow Storm - Project 365 Day 65
Originally uploaded by Ronaldok


In the heat of Texas, a memory of something snow-related seems appealing.

I was only five or six when I
think this happened. It's so hazy feeling I almost wonder if it was a dream or my imagination, but most of my memories are like that from that age. But whether real or imagined, I want to share, hoping you'll enjoy and recall some of your own sweet memories of similar blessings.

My dear brother, Mark, liked to explore. Sometimes he left mazes of footprints, set close together (snow-plow-like) so as to make a path in the snow. He went from one end of our property to the other, leading to dead-ends and circles and back. I enjoyed following these paths to see where they led, knowing they'd lead back home again. I wasn't usually allowed to go out alone very far, but perhaps this time I was close enough to my siblings to warrant it. All I know is I felt alone. And the air was hushed. And I liked it. I traveled the snowy pathway past trees, feeling like an adventurer. And in one of those trees was a black-capped chickadee, singing his sweet song. I stopped to look. From then on, perhaps, chickadees became one of my favorite birds.

Our family loved to play, as most kids do. We didn't have a TV for the first four or five years of my life, and we didn't have a computer for about the same length. We were homeschooled, so we were pretty much best friends with each other. We had a blast outside playing games, or inside playing games. Or story-telling. Or singing. Or reading. Or biking. The list goes on. But I'll save something for next time. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Theological Quotes

Since I didn't post on here for several days (it's been a little more busy this week), and missed "my day" for theological quotes, I decided to add a couple now, which I've recently read in The Treasury of David by C. H. Spurgeon.

On Psalm 25:14. 'The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.'

'Arminius and his company ransack all God's secrets, divulge and communicate them to the seed of the woman, and of the serpent all alike; they make God's eternal love of election no secret, but a common quality; faith no secret, but a general virtue; repentance and the new creature no secret, but an universal gift; no secret favour to St. Peter, but make God a party unto, not to love St. Peter more than Judas; no secret intent to any one person more than another; but that Christ might have died for all him, and never a man saved; no secret working of the Lord in any more than other; but for anything that either God the Father hath done by creating, God the Son by redeeming, or God the Holy Ghost by sanctifying, all the world were left to their scrambling--take it if you will, if you will not, refuse. They say God would have men to be saved, but that he will not work it for his own part, rather for this man or that man determinatively that he be saved.' -- William Fenner.

A bit difficult to understand, perhaps, but basically he is saying that Arminians make grace too small by saying that it's really the individual who chooses God first and by saying that God loves everyone, yet leaves the choice of salvation up to each person, when one can choose nothing but evil without Him changing the heart.

~~~~

On Psalm 26:4 (and 5). 'I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.'

'Those who would be transfigured with Jesus, must not be disfigured by conformity to the world.' -- Spurgeon

Schumann - (Kinderscenen) Scenes from Childhood, Op. 15 -2. Curious Story

The second in the set. I should be putting more up soon.

Schumann - (Kinderscenen) Scenes from Childhood, Op. 15 - 1. About Strange Lands and People

I'm no Horowitz (you can listen to his fine interpretation of this piece on youtube), but here is my attempt of the first in the "Scenes from Childhood" set.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Memory

Where shall I start? Perhaps with some of my earliest memories. We lived in upstate NY...you know, not the city. We had a few acres, lots of woods, a garden, etc. It was a great place to play and build tree forts. Of course, I was too little for building, but I tagged along with my siblings when I could. We had two or three tree swings--one hung from a great big tree by our house, one from another big tree out back (which I think eventually got cut down), and another in the woods on a sloping tree, which my siblings liked to jump out of while sitting on the swing seat. I was too scared to try it.

Anyway, I remember one day hearing the far-off howling and yelping of beagles. Maybe I was a timid child, but the sound echoed and haunted and chilled me. I sat wide-eyed on a folding chair. Perhaps we were picnicking in the woods or just sitting. Would the dogs get me?

Another time, nearer our house, I believe, I heard a dog barking, and perhaps saw it, too. A big, black menacing dog, or at least so my imagination went. We did have one like that cross our yard on occasion, I think. Sitting on the swing near our house, I hastily climbed up the rope which had several knots in it and a second seat above. I sat up there, only feeling safe when I pulled the bottom rope and seat up around me, out of reach of any dogs.

Children tend to exaggerate things in their minds, to feel things more deeply and personally. We should be careful what children hear and how we explain things to them. And in some ways we should be more like children. To simply trust in Jesus to save us from the dogs that may howl about us, clinging to Him like a rope, though He is stronger than any rope man can make.

'And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.' - Matthew 18:2-4

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday Favorites


"The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books." - Henry Longfellow

1. books and chairs 2. yellow shoes 3. pine cones
4. closer mystery 5. quilt 6. bird's-eye view of new york city
7. parlor floor 8. the queens and the hive 9. guest room


~
A light-studded breeze,
The scent of old books,
Shoes tiptoe there.
And up above
In the attic so full,
Memories hide
'Neath timbers and gloom.
Behind the pale door
With a knob marble-round,
There lies a quilt
Of each cheery hue.
Fireplace and chair,
Lamp glowing warm,
Old books and pictures
And flower-print charm.
The place I call home
May look like that,
But even if not,
I'll thank God for this:
He knows me and loves me,
And I'm safe by His side.

-Melissa M.
8-29-09

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Thankfulness

I decided to try doing a day-by-day schedule on here, though of course I may have to miss a few days at times. Here's my idea for what might be going on throughout the week. If you have any other ideas, let me know.

Lord's Day: Lament/praise - Or just rest, more likely
Monday: Memory
Tuesday: Tips ? Things I've Been Working On
Wednesday: Weekly update
Thursday: Theological quotes, Thankfulness
Friday: Favorite Photos or Paintings
Saturday: Sonnet, Story, or Song

So, I'm going to write a list of things I'm especially thankful for right now. :)

* Friendship. Friends lend a beauty to life, in their encouragement, laughter, and love. The Bible says that to have friends we must ourselves be friendly. I've always struggled with being friendly, thinking maybe it meant being outgoing. And while being outgoing helps, we shy people can definitely have friends. A little effort and a helpful, cheerful attitude go a long way, even if we don't say a lot.

* The time of conversation and enjoyment with friends we had today. The lunch and everything went off smoothly, and we really enjoyed being with two sweet, friendly ladies as they talked, shared, and worked with Mom's hair. And tomorrow, Lord willing, we'll see them again, along with some other friends, for a night of games and fellowship. Earlier this week some of our dear friends showed us how they grind wheat and make beautiful bread with it.

* My talents, and that I can use them for the Lord. I need to use them more for Him, too. But I'm thankful that He gave me such enjoyable talents to work with, such as art and music.

* That my watercolor painting wasn't ruined when I spilled water on it! (The water landed on the light part of the sky.)

* This lovely house that we are able to rent.

* The strength to clean and cook, and the desire to do so, which is a slowly-growing thing. I used to pretty much hate working, but the Lord has put a new heart in me. I still lack some motivation and discipline (and have lapses), but thank the Lord I am changing at all.

* The Word of God, both the literal words written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit, and the living Word Himself, Jesus. He is a very present help, the only way to the Father, the Redeemer of our souls. He is glorious in all His ways!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mosaic


I suppose I should do this on Monday and call it "Mosaic Monday," but I'll probably not be able to stick to a schedule, although I may try after this. I've seen this done on other blogs, and thought it was neat and wanted to share some of my favorite photos I've found on flickr lately. And to add something a little more personal and thought-provoking, I decided I'd try to add a Bible verse, quote, or reason I liked each picture (at least this time). Hopefully, the photos themselves will be inspiring, too.

1. Lilacs ~ My favorite flower.
"As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more." - Psalm 103:15, 16

2. This couple looks happy and loving of one another.
"A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." - Proverbs 17:22
"Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith." - Proverbs 15:17

3. I just liked the colors on this one, and the girl is cute, though not so happy looking.
"It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth." - Lamentations 3:27

4. I liked this creative and cheerful arrangement.

5. Dreamy looking, good idea for a picture, to use a reflection.
"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;" - Ecclesiastes 12:1

6. Just thought they were cute with the buttons on them.

7.
"And he made darkness pavilions round about him, dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies." - 2 Samuel 22:12

8.
Cats are probably my favorite animal.
"Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps:
Fire, and hail; snow, and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word:
Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:
Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:
Kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth:
Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children:
Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven." - Psalm 148:7-13


9. I love the old look here, and the light streaming. However, there can be too many books, or too much vain reading, as the following verse says.
"And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh." - Ecclesiastes 12:12

10. "For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." - Isaiah 55:12, 13

11. "The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house." - Psalm 104:16, 17

The rest I shall just say that I liked how they looked. :) I could have arranged them better, though.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Legacy
by Melissa M.
About my dear dad, gone home to heaven.

He left a legacy of volumes,
Shelves and boxes full.
Thoughts of writers deep
From which we can cull.

He left a volume of legacy,
Prayers and actions full.
His life very strong,
His mind never dull.

Even when his last breaths were taken,
Painful yet made clear,
He asked to stand up
For his Lord was near.

Will our actions be remembered here
As pure or defiled,
Graced by love of God,
Or with fear and spite?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Giveaway

If you want to enter to win a prize from Little Lamb Design (lots of nice cards, address labels, etc.), click here and follow their rules. :)

Giveaway for Bread-Making DVD

To enter to win a copy of The Art of Making Bread DVD, click here and comment!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Lord's Day

We found this little book among my dad's old books, and I wanted to share a few good quotes. The author may not have been sound in all his doctrine, but these seem to be fine. Some of the prayers are very much taken from Scripture, though the ones I'm quoting are not so much. From The Private Devotions of Lancelot Andrews (Translated by John Henry Newman):

Prayer for the First Day of the Week:

'Introduction

Through the tender mercies of our God
the day-spring from on high hath visited us.
Glory be to Thee, O Lord, glory to Thee.
Creator of the light,
and Enlightener of the world,--
of the visible light,
The Sun's ray, a flame of fire,
day and night,
evening and morning,--
of the light invisible,
the revelation of God,
writings of the Law,
oracles of Prophets,
music of Psalms,
instruction of Proverbs,
experience of Histories,--
light which never sets.
God is the Lord who hath shewed us light;
bind the sacrifice with cords,
yea even unto the the horns of the altar.

O by Thy resurrection raise us up
unto newness of life,
supplying to us frames of repentance.
The God of peace,
who did bring again from the dead
the great Shepherd of the sheep,
through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
our Lord Jesus Christ,
perfect us in every good work,
to do His will,
working in us what is acceptable before Him,
through Jesus Christ,
to whom be glory for ever.

Thou who didst send down on Thy disciples
on this day
Thy Thrice-Holy Spirit,
withdraw not Thou the gift, O Lord, from us,
but renew it in us, day by day,
who ask Thee for it.'

From Confession

'O remember, what my substance is,
the work of Thine hands,
the likeness of Thy countenance,
the cost of Thy blood,
a name from Thy Name,
a sheep of Thy pasture,
a son of the covenant.
Despise not Thou the work of Thine own hands.'

'And more, and still more,
pierce Thou, rend, crush my heart;
and remit, forgive, pardon
what things are grief to me,
and offence of heart.'

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

"As the Deer" Tutorial Review


As The Deer Tutorial


The above tutorial is very good compared with most. The camera is steady, and the piano keys and the man's hands are quite clearly seen. He also knows what he's talking about in regard to notes and chords, with a few possible exceptions. His descriptions and demonstrations are usually clear and helpful for musicians, going beyond a mere playing through and list of notes.

I believe the chord he claims is like a "raised fifth" or "suspended fifth" is actually an augmented fifth, which matches the "raised fifth" description quite well, but is not a "suspended fifth." He also slips up and cites a G as a G#. All the rest of his chords and notes I believe to be accurate, at least after he corrects himself. There is one place he says he's going to play two A's in the right hand as he plays an F in the left hand, but later he changes the timing on this, apologizing briefly for his mistake.

Some of his talking is a little rushed and hard to understand (and the "that there" gets a little redundant). Near the ending, especially, he hurries through it, not telling what the ending notes are. The clip could have been cut into two videos if he was worried about time and space.

Overall, though, it was one of the best tutorials I've seen so far, with a pretty song to boot.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quote

From The Treasury of David by Spurgeon.

On Psalm 24, verse 1:
'St. Chrysostom, suffering under the Empress Eudoxia, tells his friend Cyriacus how he armed himself beforehand...."I thought, will she banish me? 'The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.' Take away my goods? 'Naked came I into the world, and naked must I return.' Will she stone me? I remembered Stephen. Behead me? John Baptist came into my mind," etc. Thus it should be with every one that intends to live and die comfortably: they must, as we say, lay up somethng for a rainy day; they must stock themselves with graces, store up promises, and furnish themselves with experiences of God's lovingkindness to others and themselves too, that so, when the evil day comes, they may have much good coming thereby.' - John Spencer.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Links And Things

I'm late in posting this, sorry! The Reformation 500 audio is on sale (50% off) until tomorrow. Click here! I would prefer video, but I'm not sure they will sell that.

And I just heard about this site, which sells modest clothing for women: New Creation Apparel. Mostly too expensive for me, but there are some really nice skirts...inspiring me to make some of my own. ;)

~~
I've had some struggles lately, and one of my friends gave me this encouraging link, which includes a great quote from Spurgeon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Quote by William S. Plumer

Here's another quote from Spurgeon's book, The Treasury of David. It was encouraging to me.

'Whole Psalm [23].--Some pious souls are troubled because they cannot at all times, or often, use, in its joyous import, the language of this Psalm. Such should remember that David, though he lived long, never wrote but one twenty-third Psalm. Some of his odes do indeed express as lively a faith as this, and faith can walk in darkness. But where else do we find a whole Psalm expressive of personal confidence, joy, and triumph, from beginning to end? God's people have their seasons of darkness and their times of rejoicing. - William S. Plumer

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kept Alive By Christ...

Quote by Spurgeon in The Treasury of David:
(On Psalm 22:29b
)
'
The Spirit of God moved over our deadness, and breathed into us the breath of life. My soul became a living soul. But was this enough? God's word says, No. "None can keep alive his own soul." My heart says, No. Truth must ever answer to truth. I cannot (ah! have I not tried, and failed?), I cannot keep alive my own soul. We cannot live upon ourselves. Our physical life is kept up by supply from without--air, food, warmth. So must the spiritual life. Jesus gives, Jesus feeds us day by day, else must the life fade out and die. "None can keep alive his own soul." It is not enough to be made alive. I must be fed, and guided, and taught, and kept in life. Mother, who hast brought a living babe into the world, is your work done? Will you not nurse it, and feed it, and care for it, that it may be kept alive? Lord, I am this babe. I live indeed, for I can crave and cry. Leave me not, O my Savior. Forsake not the work of thine own hands. In thee I live. Hold me, carry me, feed me, let me abide in thee.'

Here's a post that should get you thinking, at least if you've never thought about it before. It's so true (at least for some feminists)...and sad! Feminist Hypocrisy

And here's a good and encouraging interview with the Botkin sisters.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence

Our country has fallen in many ways, and was never perfect, but I am thankful for it and the freedoms that God has yet allowed us to retain.

'How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!' ~Thomas Jefferson

Friday, July 3, 2009

This Little Box

by Melissa M.
July 3, 2009

The bane of my existence
Seems to be this little box.
I can read and write and chat
And then I can play with blocks.

Watch movies and TV shows,
See how pictures have amassed,
Take quizzes and read journals,
'Til midnight's long gone past.

Yet good can come from this--
The friendships and the love,
The learning and the laughter
Are gifts from up above.

So perhaps the problem here
Is not the computer screen
But the one who uses it--
Yes, this is clearly seen.

So discipline my heart, Lord,
And duly reprimand--
I know things are best meted
By Your dear, loving hand.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Grief and Gladness

We have gotten together with family & friends a few times this week. First we had lunch at the Sarratts' house with my sister, Grace, and her kids, which was lovely. They served a delicious strawberry and lettuce salad with poppy-seed dressing and baked potatoes with rosemary and toppings such as bacon bits and cheese. We chatted and did some crochet and played with the kids, watching them blow bubbles and pop them. We sat on their porch, and it was surprisingly tolerable, though it was upwards of 95 degrees. There was a bit of a breeze. My littlest niece enjoyed the bubbles, but she was most excited by the fluffy caramel-colored dog, Poochy, crawling around after her and flailing her little hands at the dog.

Some of our friends are up in Boston at the Reformation 500, which looks like a wonderful event. (See even more about it here, and some pictures of reenactors in costume, some of which people we know and love.)

Well, I shall end with some quotes from Spurgeon's The Treasury of David, Vol. 1, shorter nuggets. I've really been profiting from and enjoying the book, and the commentary on Psalm 22 is great in helping me to see the amazing love of God through Christ.

"They shoot out the lip, they shake the head." These were gestures of contempt. Panting, grinning, shaking of the head, thrusting out of the tongue, and other modes of derision were endured by our patient Lord; men made faces at him before whom angels vail their faces and adore. The basest signs of disgrace which disdain could devise were maliciously cast at him. They punned upon his prayers, they made matter for laughter of his sufferings, and set him utterly at nought. Herbert sings of our Lord as saying,--
"Shame tears my soul, my body many a wound;
Sharp nails pierce this, but sharper that confound;
Reproaches which are free, while I am bound.
Was ever grief like mine?"

"I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee." (Psalm 22:22)
We mention our sorrows readily enough; why are we so slow in declaring our deliverances?

"All they that go down to the dust shall bow before him." (Psalm 22:29, in part)
There is relief and comfort in bowing before God when our case is at its worst; even amid our dust of death prayer kindles the lamp of hope.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quick Quote

From Spurgeon's The Treasury of David, on verse 1 of Chapter 21, though not the full commentary.

"The king shall joy in thy strength, O Lord; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!"

"The Man of Sorrows is now anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows. Returned in triumph from the overthrow of all his foes, he offers his own rapturous Te Deum in the temple above, and joys in the power of the Lord. Herein let every subject of King Jesus imitate the King; let us lean upon Jehovah's strength, let us joy in it by unstaggering faith, let us exult in it in our thankful songs. Jesus not only has thus rejoiced but he shall do so as he sees the power of divine grace bringing out from their sinful hiding-places the purchase of his soul's travail; we also shall rejoice more and more as we learn by expeience more and more fully the strength of the arm of our covenant God. Our weakness unstrings our harps, but his strength tunes them anew."
~~~
That isn't just a lovely saying, but I've been finding it to be true. How often my "strings" are gone awry and utter a terrible noise! Only by God's grace do I ever "play in tune."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Music and Learning

Music
This might not be the best playing of it I've ever heard, but it's still excellent, especially for the young age of the performer. The second part is especially impressive, though I actually prefer the first part. Makes me want to try it, while the second is beyond my ability.

Chopin Andante Spianato & Grand Polonaise Brillante I by George Li

Chopin Andante Spianato & Grand Polonaise Brillante II by George Li


Another sweet Mozart Sonata. The 3rd movement is especially cheerful.

Mozart Sonata in C major K330 M2 by George Li

Mozart Sonata in C major K330 M3 by George Li

Learning with Friends
We had some friends over this week to teach them to crochet. They are talented quilters and they caught on quite quickly to crocheting. First we went to Hobby Lobby with them, then had lunch, then did some crocheting. It was a fun afternoon. I hadn't done much crocheting before, either, but this time I enjoyed it more than usual and actually want to finish the blanket I started.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

For Your Inspiration

When possible, I'd like to share inspiring links and things, perhaps every Saturday at least for a time.

Music
I've seen so many amazingly talented young people, and here is the first I'd like to share with you. George Li is a boy of 13 or 14 years. I love to listen to music like this. It's so joyful.

George Li plays a beautiful Haydn piece with violin and cello (M. 1)
Movement 2
Movement 3

Projects
This is my refurbished little dresser that we bought at a yard sale. It used to be a dingy yellowish color with a scratched, brown wooden top. One of the handles was broken. The added paint and new knobs really helped it out. (Don't have a before picture, though.) Buying old things and fixing them up is a good way to save money, if you know ahead of time what you need and know it's a feasible project.


Hair
Braid instructions
This didn't quite work on my longer hair, but it inspired me to try something with braids, anyway.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Quote

A shorter quote this time, from Spurgeon's The Treasury of David.

On Psalm 18:
'And I pray mark how he begins: he sets not up trophies to himself, but triumphs in his God-- "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength." As the love of God is the beginning of all our mercies, so love to God should be the end and effect of them all. As the stream leads us to the spring, so all the gifts of God must lead us to the giver of them.'
-Richard Steele's "Plain Discourse upon Uprightness," 1670.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Van Cliburn Competition

Listening to piano music live here!
http://www.cliburn.tv/

Started today, and goes on until June 7! :)

"Open My Eyes, That I May See Wondrous Things From Your Law"

These last few days have been hard for me. I'm ashamed to admit I've been doubting and backsliding, yet I want to help you by telling you, in case any are in the same position. Thankfully the Lord didn't let me turn away completely (none of His children will), and He brought me back into sweet fellowship and delight in Him, though I'm still not as close to Him as I should be (prayers appreciated). I was in fear of the state of my soul, and yet I didn't feel like reading my Bible much or praying much. One thing that draws me (perhaps everyone) away from delighting in God is too much time spent with entertaining shows, movies, or books. Then the Word of God may seem a bit dull and we may think we've heard it all before, and maybe we have. But it's deeper than any other book, so there are always new things to glean, if we truly seek. Through the encouragement of my mom and some dear siblings, God taught me again that I need Him and His Word, whether I want to read it or not. And along the way, there are blessings to be found and joy restored, if we just ask and remember the amazing love of God. Listening to sermons by John Piper helped, specifically the sermons entitled God Demonstrates His Love Toward Us and God Did Not Spare His Own Son, as did praying and focusing on the Word of God. It's not a one-time thing, but a daily battle. I'm listening to Nothing Can Separate Us from the Love of Christ, today, which is excellent, as well.

Here are some of the verses that I used as prayers and were an encouragement to me:

Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.
-Psalm 119:17-18

My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.
I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.
Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.
Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.
I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.
I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O LORD, put me not to shame.
I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.
Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.
Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.
Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.
Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.
Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.
-Psalm 119:25-40

Of course, there are many more such encouraging verses in the Bible, and different ones may be more helpful for you at this time.

Lastly, I want to share a couple of quotes by Spurgeon from The Treasury of David that have been a blessing.

(From Psalm 18) '22. "For all his judgments were before me." The word, the character, and the actions of God should be evermore before our eyes; we should learn, consider, and reverence them. Men forget what they do not wish to remember, but the excellent attributes of the Most High are objects of the believer's affectionate and delighted admiration. We should keep the image of God so constantly before us that we become in our measure conformed unto it. This inner love to the right must be the main spring of Christian integrity in our public walk. The fountain must be filled with love to holiness, and then the streams which issue from it will be pure and gracious. "I did not put away his statutes from me." To put away the Scriptures from the mind's study is the certain way to prevent their influencing the outward conversation. Backsliders begin with dusty Bibles, and go on to filthy garments.'

'28. "For thou wilt light my candle." Even the children of the day sometimes need candle-light. In the darkest hour light will find the holy fire with which the candle shall burn; our evidences are our own, but their comfortable light is from above. Candles which are lit by God the devil cannot blow out. All candles are not shining, and so there are some graces which yield no present comfort; but it is well to have candles which may by and by be lit, and it is well to possess graces which may yet afford us cheering evidences. The metaphor of the whole verse is founded upon the dolorous nature of darkness and the delightfulness of light; "truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun;" and even so the presence of the Lord removes all the gloom of sorrow, and enables the believer to rejoice with exceeding great joy. The lighting of the lamp is a cheerful moment in the winter's evening, but the lifting up of the light of God's countenance is happier far. It is said that the poor in Egypt will stint themselves of bread to buy oil for the lamp, so that they may not sit in darkness; we could well afford to part with all earthly comforts if the light of God's love could but constantly gladden our souls.'

Praise the Lord for such love and mercy shown in various ways, and may the love of God be with you all!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

GIVEAWAY!

I know, what a name....

The Brass Hussy Guest Giveaway!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Tribute to My Mother

"Oh that God would give every mother a vision of the glory and splendor of the work that is given to her when a babe is place in her bosom to be nursed and trained! Could she have but one glimpse in to the future of that life as it reaches on into eternity; could she look into its soul to see its possibilities; could she be made to understand her own personal responsibility for the training of this child, for the development of its life, and for its destiny,--she would see that in all God's world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers, and she would commit to no others hands
the sacred and holy trust given to her."
-- J.R. Miller, Homemaking

“Thank God, O women for the quietude of your home, and that you are queen in it. Men come at eventide to the home; but all day long you are there, beautifying it, sanctifying it, adorning it, blessing it. Better be there than wear a queen’s coronet. Better be there than carry the purse of a princess. It may be a very humble home. There may be no carpet on the floor. There may be no pictures on the wall. There may be no silks in the wardrobe; but, by your faith in God, and your cheerful demeanor, you may garniture that place with more splendor than the upholsterer’s hand ever kindled.” -- T. DeWitt Talmage "What the mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin." -- Henry Ward Beecher "The best academy, a mother's knee." -- James Russell Lowell

"Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her." -Proverbs 31:28

My mother is indeed one whom I can praise and call blessed without any hesitation!


My mom, born Mary St. John, was the youngest of five children, and raised by godly parents. She learned violin and went on to teach it to others, and also played in church.


But, in my eyes more dear than all her musical accomplishments, she accepted her God-given role of a keeper at home.

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. - Titus 2:3-5


She became the mother of eight (the youngest being me). I praise the Lord for such a godly mother, and that she did not give up on having me just because it could be somewhat dangerous at her age, and after a difficult birth just before me! She educated all of us at home, with my dad's supervision and input. What a job that is in and of itself! She had other jobs, as well....

As one of my friends wrote:
'Think of it, moms are chefs, housekeepers, nurses, guidance counselors, chaperones, chauffeurs, nannies, teachers, handywomen, emergency experts, homework assistants, seamstresses, driving instructors, relationship gurus, and sometimes mind readers.'

I could add "waitress," "organizer," and "gardener" to that--perhaps others. My mom has planted numerous gardens filled with delicious vegetables and citrus fruit trees when we were in Florida (along with blueberries). My mom has a tender heart and usually has an encouraging word to offer everyone. She doesn't shy away from hard work--sometimes it's hard to get her to stop when she should! Yet she always has time to talk about our needs and concerns, spiritually and otherwise. She is also humble and willing to learn. (She is even learning Hebrew and writing a beginner's Hebrew book!) She is abundantly generous. She is sweet and loving. She loves to see others grow in the Lord. She is wise. She loves to study the Bible. She fears the Lord.

I hope I can live up to her example!

We should take time to appreciate our mothers...not just on Mother's Day, but every day. And not just in word, but in deed, for words are empty if not put into practice. The Bible says to honor and obey our parents, and we should obviously love them, too, whether they are very good parents or not.

As for my mother, I am grateful I can truly say, 'Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.' (Proverbs 31:10.)

Grace (my oldest sister) gave this lovely frame as a Mother's Day gift.
Grace made sure it was all right with us first, then came back with it
framed and matted, by hand. We knew it was going to be a nice gold frame,
but we didn't expect anything quite this beautiful!
(By the way, Grace painted this picture several years ago for Mom & Dad.)


Mom, three daughters, and three grandchildren
enjoying a meal at Olive Garden the day after Mother's Day.

Mom with roses that her son Joel & his wife Charity sent her.
(She's also gotten a card and phone call from other family members, which she enjoyed.)