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.

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.