Wednesday, May 27, 2009


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!

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


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.)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Anne of Green Gables Series (Part 1)

I am currently reading through the Anne of Green Gables series for the second time in my life.

L.M. Montgomery's books have always filled me with a cozy and delightful feeling by their poetic descriptions and sweet sentiments. I have my cautions about them, as well, as they sometimes delve into the half-magical (talk of ghosts, etc.), the characters are sometimes immature and like to gossip, and women sometimes aspire to be more than homemakers. And there is wrong theology woven throughout. Take, for instance, this quote from Anne of the Island:

'"Why should you be afraid, Ruby?" asked Anne quietly.

"Because--because--oh, I'm not afraid but that I'll go to heaven, Anne. I'm a church member. . . ."'

Anne should have countered that being a church member (or being "good") is not what saves anyone, though Christians most often will become church members. But Anne doesn't do so, only comfortingly says she thinks heaven will be much the same as earth, only easier. Ruby persists that it will still be different, and Anne realizes it is true.

There is at least one thing in this chapter of the book that makes sense:

'Anne walked home very slowly in the moonlight. The evening had changed something for her. Life held a different meaning, a deeper purpose. On the surface it would go on just the same; but the deeps had been stirred. It must not be with her as with poor butterfly Ruby. When she came to the end of one life it must not be to face the next with the shrinking terror of something wholly different--something for which accustomed thought and ideal and aspiration had unfitted her. The little things of life, sweet and excellent in their place, must not be the things lived for; the highest must be sought and followed; the life of heaven must be begun here on earth.'

True, yet the book fails to say that this can only come through the salvation of Christ and the gracious work of the Holy Spirit.

Fallacies aside, the series is a charming bit of literature, stirring up laughter and appreciation for God's creation. Here are a few quotes I enjoyed.

'One June evening, when the orchards were pink-blossomed again, when the frogs were singing silverly sweet in the marshes about the head of the Lake of Shining Waters, and the air was full of the savor of clover fields and balsamic fir woods, Anne was sitting by her gable window. She had been studying her lessons, but it had grown too dark to see the book, so she had fallen into wide-eyed reverie, looking out past the boughs of the Snow Queen, once more bestarred with its tufts of blossom.' (Anne of Green Gables, p. 161)

'Few things in Avonlea ever escaped Mrs. Lynde. It was only that morning Anne had said,
"If you went to your own room at midnight, locked the door, pulled down the blind, and sneezed, Mrs. Lynde would ask you the next day how your cold was!"' (Anne of Avonlea, p. 8)

[Marilla speaking] '"Davy, stop joggling Dora's elbow. Oh, I saw you! You needn't try to look innocent. What does make you behave so this morning?"
"Maybe I got out of the wrong side of the bed," suggested Davy. "Milty Boulter says if you do that things are bound to go wrong with you all day. His grandmother told him. But which way is the right side? And what are you to do when your bed's against the wall? I want to know."' (Anne of Avonlea, p. 195)

'It was November--the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines. Anne roamed through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let that great sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.' (Anne of the Island, p. 163)

'Long after Pacifiique's gay whistle had faded into the phantom of music and then into silence far up under the maples of Lover's Lane Anne stood under the willows, tasting the poignant sweetness of life when some great dread has been removed from it. The morning was a cup filled with mist and glamor. In the corner near her was a rich surprise of new-blown, crystal-dewed roses. The trills and trickles of song from the birds in the big tree above her seemed in perfect accord with her mood. A sentence from a very old, very true, very wonderful Book came to her lips,
"Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning."' (Anne of the Island, p. 239)

In Anne of the Island, Anne encounters a man she thinks is her very ideal, with a lovely voice and poetic, melancholy air. However, she can't stop thinking of Gilbert. My dad appreciated the two movies based on these books because of this lesson. The lesson that our superfluous ideals are not the most important, and that sometimes romance is taken out of its place and made into something larger than life.

I will probably add more quotes and reviews as I go through the rest of the books. I hope you enjoyed this brief review.

Psalm 16 Commentary

Again, from Spurgeon's The Treasury of David, on Psalm 16, verse 11:
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

This then may serve for a ground of comfort to every soul distressed with the tedious bitterness of this life; for short sorrow here, we shall have eternal joy; for a little hunger, an eternal banquet; for light sickness and affliction, everlasting health and salvation; for a little imprisonment, endless liberty; for disgrace, glory. Instead of the wicked who oppress and afflict them, they shall have the angels and saints to comfort and solace them, instead of Satan to torment and tempt them, they shall have Jesus to ravish* and affect them. Joseph's prison shall be turned into a palace; Daniel's lions' den into the presence of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah; the three children's hot fiery furnace, into the New Jerusalem of pure gold; David's Gath, into the tabernacle of the living God. --John Cragge's "Cabinet of Spirituall Jewells," 1657.

*1. to fill with strong emotion, esp. joy. (From

Monday, May 4, 2009

"I Have Set the Lord Always Before Me"

More quotes from Spurgeon's The Treasury of David (there are so many I might as well share the whole 3-volume set, lol), from Psalm 16:

Verse 8.--"I have set the Lord always before me."
By often thinking of God, the heart will be enticed into desires after him. Isaiah xxvi. 8. "The desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee;" and see what follows, verse 9: "With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early." Love sets the soul on musing, and from musing to praying. Meditation is prayer in bullion, prayer in the ore--soon melted and run into holy desires. The laden cloud soon drops into rain; the piece charged soon goes off when fire is put to it. A meditating soul is in proxima potentia to prayer. --William Gurnall.

Verse 8.--"Because he is at my right hand,"
etc. Of ourselves we stand not at any time, by his power we may overcome at all times. And when we are sorest asaulted he is ever ready at our right hand to support and stay us that we shall not fall. He hath well begun, and shall happily go forward in his work, who hath in truth begun. For true grace well planted in the heart, how weak, soever, shall hold out forever. All total decays come from this--that the heart was never truly mollified, nor grace deeply and kindly rooted therein. --John Ball.