Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quote about Psalm 42

Psalm 42 is one of my favorite psalms, because I'm often kind of downcast/fearful and it encourages me to hope in God. Here is a good quote about 42:7  by John Bunyan:

"Deep calleth unto deep." What's that?  Why, it is expressed in the verse before: "O God," says he, "my soul is cast down within me." "Down," that is deep into the jaws of distrust and fear.  And, Lord, my soul in this depth of sorrow, calls for help to thy depth of mercy.  For though I am sinking and am going down, yet not so low but that thy mercy is yet underneath me.  Do, of thy compassions, open those everlasting arms, and catch him that has no help or stay in himself.  For so it is with one that is falling into a well or a dungeon.'

Monday, November 26, 2012

Poll Results

 
What form of pre-marriage relationship do you believe is best?

Dating
  0 (0%)
Courting
  2 (22%)
 
Just friendship
  0 (0%)
Friendship, then betrothal
  3 (33%)
 
Courtship, then betrothal
  4 (44%)
 
Dating, then betrothal
  0 (0%)
Arranged marriage
0 (0%)
I'm really not sure.           0 (0%)

Interesting that there are so many who believe in betrothal. :)

I don't have another poll up; haven't thought of one, yet. If you have a good idea for one, let me know.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Lazy Man's Rut - A Poem


by Melissa M.
11-12-12

Clinging to past success,
Like spider to web,
I dangle precariously,
Fear tickling my gut,
But outputting nothing--
The lazy man's rut.

Tomorrow will be enough,
My heart wants to say.
But will it be, indeed?
Or will I fall prey
To hopes dashed
And a wasted day?

Tackle the goal head on,
Even if hard the load.
Easier now, I'm sure,
Than tomorrow's hour,
When panic and shame
Defeat and devour.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Quotes from "Treasury of David"

From Psalm 40. (I forgot that I posted this earlier, but it bears repeating.)

'Verse 8.--"Thy law is within my heart."  The will of God in which Christ delighted, was (as appears by the coherence, and the quotation of Heb. x. 5) that Christ should make his soul an offering for sin, as more acceptable to God than all other burnt-offerings and sin-offerings.  This law was in his heart, in the midst of his bowels.  He did as much delight in it as we do in following those inclinations which nature has implanted in our hearts, as we do in eating and drinking.  So he expresses it (John iv. 34), "My meat is to do with will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.'  He was as willing to bleed and die for thee as thou art to eat when hungry.  He was delighted as much to be scourged, wounded, crucified, as thou delightest in meat when most delicious.' -- David Clarkson.

Amazing, no?  Not to deny Him praying "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me;" of course.


From Psalm 42.

'Verse 2.--"My soul thirsteth for God," etc.  See that your heart rest not short of Christ in any duty.  Let go your hold of no duty until you find something of Christ in it; and until you get not only an handful, but an armful (with old Simeon, Luke ii. 28); yea, a heartful of the blessed and beautiful babe of Bethlehem therein.  Indeed you should have commerce with heaven, and communion with Christ in duty, which is therefore called the presence of God, or your appearing before him. Exodus xxiii. 17, and Psalm xlii. 2. . . .' -- Christopher Ness's "Chrystal Mirrour," 1679.

'Verse 2. "Come and appear before God." . . . To little purpose we go to church, or attend on ordinances, if we seek not, if we see not God there.' -- Isaac Watts, D.D., 1674-1748.
 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Hymn

Two lines of this were quoted in Spurgeon's Treasury of David, and I searched online to find the author. I didn't find the author, but I found the whole poem it went with.  Then, I looked in C.H. Spurgeon's Our Own Hymnbook, and found it, under the title of "Jesus, my great High Priest," and with a few other verses.  Apparently it is by Isaac Watts.  Enjoy!

~~~

Join all the glorious names
Of wisdom, love, and power,
That mortals ever knew,
That angels ever bore:
All are too mean to speak His worth,
Too mean to set my Saviour forth.

Great Prophet of my God,
My tongue would bless Thy name;
By Thee the joyful news
Of our salvation came:
The joyful news of sins forgiven,
Of hell subdued, and peace with heaven.

Jesus, my great High Priest,
Offered His blood, and died:
My guilty conscience seeks
No sacrifice beside:
His powerful blood did once atone
And now it pleads before the throne.

My dear Almighty Lord,
My Conqueror and my King!
Thy matchless power and love,
Thy saving grace, I sing:
Thine is the power   oh, may I sit
In willing bonds beneath Thy feet.

Then let my soul arise,
And tread the tempter down;
My Captain leads me forth
To conquest and a crown.
The feeblest saint shall win the day,
Though death and hell obstruct the way.

Should all the hosts of death,
And powers of hell unknown,
Put their most dreadful forms
Of rage and mischief on,
I shall be safe; for Christ displays
Superior power and guardian grace.

~

(Additional verses, which may have been first.)

To this dear Surety's hand
Will I commit my cause;
He answers and fulfills
His Father's broken laws;
Behold my soul at freedom set!
My Surety paid the dreadful debt.

My Advocate appears
For my defense on high;
The Father bows His ears,
And lays His thunder by;
Not all that hell or sin can say
Shall turn His heart, His love away.

Immense compassion reigns
In my Immanuel's heart,
He condescends to act
A Mediator's part:
He is my friend and brother too,
Divinely kind, divinely true.

Isaac Watts, 1709.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mines & Mindsets

At home sits a girl, a laptop propped on her lap, music going in her ears.  Clicking mindlessly at the beginning of a dozen minesweeper games, she wonders when the big field will open up where there are few mines.  Just a few more games. Just a few more minutes.  What else is there to do, after all?  Draw-- play music--write--where is the meaning in that?  Oh, perhaps there is more meaning in it than games, but there is always time for that later.  A time when she's feeling more inspired.

The truth is, life is a lot like the minefield on minesweeper.  There are dangers, yes, but we want to find the easiest path with few mines, or what looks like few mines.  But the clear field is really just pushing the mines outward, not lessening the number; they gang up on you in the end, and then they are all the trickier to overcome.

A few obstacles and hardships are helpful along the way to keep us careful, learning, and dependent on God.

And sometimes the littlest things we do are used to the greatest effect by a God who is bigger than all.

If we stop and think, our talents can be used by God, can be a blessing to others, and most definitely are more important than a game of minesweeper, where the only reward is a name on the high score list.


*You do need a bit of a clear field to open up when playing Minesweeper, but if you keep clicking and waiting, you will run into mines, and the game is then over.  Or, like I said, it may be that more mines will be clustered together later and make it harder to finish--that's sort of a working theoryAnd I try not to play the game too often.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Call to Wonder - Book Review

This is an amazing book for those of us who have lost at least some of our childlike wonder and trust. I wasn't quite sure how much it would help me, because I already marvel at God's creation. But there is so much more to it than that! And I still take God's creation for granted sometimes and focus on the downsides of things. From topics on humility, joy, and drawing near to God, there are so many things to learn from this book! One of the big things for me was the reminder that God is a loving Father to His children. Obvious point, but for some reason my mind tends to stay on the judging, angry side of God, when He placed the punishment for sin on His Son. We are still called to maturity and holiness, of course, but we should love and seek those because we love God.

The story Dr. R. C. Sproul Jr. told of his daughter, "Princess Happy" just blew me out of the water, too. She and others like her are a gift, not a burden, and they are our spiritual betters in many ways! They know how to trust, to enjoy, and to please.

Even if I didn't agree with every little point of the book, it still deserves a definite 5 stars.

Here are a few quotes from the book:

“There's this thing that I like to call the RC Sproul principle of hermeneutics.
When you're reading the Bible and you come across someone doing something really stupid, don't say to yourself "I'm glad I'm not him." Ask yourself "How am I that stupid?”

"Daily I witness my spiritual betters in my own children. When the snows come, I see ice crystals falling, slick roads, and rising heat bills. They sit at the window in awe of God's creativity. When nighttime falls and the stars shine, I muse about burning balls of hydrogen. They join the dancing of the spheres in celebration of God who made them. When our family sits down to eat, I envision a cluttered kitchen and dishes needing to be washed. They see daily bread delivered by their faithful heavenly Father."

"If you should ever be blessed to be far enough from the cacophony of civilization when a heavy snow falls, you can even hear the very music of the iced dew's delicate descent. It is the repainting of a landscape in a thousand hues of white. It is the dance of the wind."

"The trees in the fields clap their hands, not as solemn applause but as giddy frolic. The seas roar, not like a lion but like the crowd at the football game."

"Because we are more adult than actually mature, we tend to take our sins and baptize them, dressing them up as spiritual maturity."

"Perhaps the most shockingly transcendent thing about the God we worship is that He is pleased to stoop down to us, to draw near, to know us, love us, walk with us, and call us all by name."

"The call to delight in our heavenly Father is not one that can be rightly obeyed with bootstrap effort. One cannot grimly determine to rejoice in the grace of God. The only way to rejoice the way David did is to be overcome with emotion. David's joyous dance was true to who he was and true to how he felt about God. It was David becoming like a child, so much so that he insisted on giving in to his willingness, even his eagerness, to become undignified."

"Instead of seeing all of this as God's extraordinary grace, we come to expect the comfort and joys that God gives us as the baseline, the measure of what we believe to be our due. When our comfort level drops below our expectations, we are shocked and angered, and even foolishly express our outrage to God Himself."


Recommended for everyone, especially grown-up Christians, who may have to grow down. :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lyrics and Quote from the Treasury of David

Hymn of Gethsemane - quite lovely!

Verse 12. For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head. We lose ourselves when we speak of the sins of our lives. It may astonish any considering man to take notice how many sins he is guilty of any one day; how many sins accompany any one single act; nay, how many bewray themselves in any one religious duty. Whensoever ye do anything forbidden, you omit the duty at that time commanded; and whenever you neglect that which is enjoined, the omission is joined with the acting of something forbidden; so that the sin, whether omission or commission, is always double; nay, the apostle makes every sin tenfold. James 2:10. That which seems one to us, according to the sense of the law, and the account of God, is multiplied by ten. He breaks every command by sinning directly against one, and so sins ten times at once; besides that swarm of sinful circumstances and aggravations which surround every act in such numbers, as atoms use to surround your body in a dusty room; you may more easily number these than those. And though some count these but fractions, incomplete sins, yet even from hence it is more difficult to take an account of their number. And, which is more for astonishment, pick out the best religious duty that ever you performed, and even in that performance you may find such a swarm of sins as cannot be numbered. In the best prayer that ever you put up to God, irreverence, lukewarmness, unbelief, spiritual pride, self seeking, hypocrisy, distractions, etc., and many more, that an enlightened soul grieves and bewails; and yet there are many more that the pure eye of God discerns, than any man does take notice of. -- David Clarkson.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Selah - from the Treasury of David



There is much more written about this word, but this was the part I found more interesting. The four musical points are quite fascinating, though perhaps some of them are speculative:

Verse 5. Selah. A little word, yet of no small difficulty to explain. Left out of the Bible by the vulgar translators, as though it were impertinent, where, let them consider, whether they come not within the verge of that malediction in Revelation 22:19 . The ancient interpreters did not much meddle with it, and our editions leave it without interpretation. But seeing "whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope" Romans 15:4 , and till "heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled" Matthew 5:18 , we have sufficient warrant after the example of the learned, and encouragement to make enquiry after the mind of the Holy Spirit, in that which he hath both commanded to be written, and hath commanded unto us. Wherein, like the crystal glass, I will rather present you with the true visage of antiquity, than use any newly framed feature or painting of my own.

Selah is mentioned seventy-four times in the Scripture, whereof seventy-one in the book of Psalms, and thrice in the prophet Habakkuk, which is written psalm wise; and it is ever placed in the end of a Psalm or verse, four places only excepted, where, like the sun in the midst of the planets, it is seated to conjoin the precedent words with the subsequent, and communicate splendour unto both. There was a threefold use of it in ancient times, whereof the first concerned the music; the second, the matter handled unto which it was affixed; and the third, the men or congregation assembled in the temple of the Lord, which two last may still have place among us Christians, who are ingrafted into the stock Christ, from whence the Jews were cut off, but from the first we cannot properly suck such nourishment as once they did.

First of the music. The king's choir ( 1 Chronicles 25:1-6 Psalms 62:1-12 , Epigrafh; 1 Chronicles 16:41 ) learned five things by it:

First. To make a little pause, stop, or stay, when they came to Selah, and to meditate awhile upon the matter foregoing.

Second. They knew by that cessation and interval that King David as he was prophesying unto the people, and praising God upon the loud sounding cymbals, was at that instant inspired and taught some new lesson. Wherefore, as men being in serious discourse, when they hear a sudden noise hold their peace to listen, saying, hark! see, lo! so David's heart being smitten by the voice of God's Spirit, the music ceased, stopped, and he checked himself as it were thus: "Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth."

Third. It signifieth the change and variation of the music in some strains, or of the metre, or sense, or disjunction of the rhyme, or ceasing of some one sort of music, which howsoever St. Hierome makes some scruple of. The Septuagint, as often as they meet with Selah in the Hebrew text, in their Greek version translated it, the change of the song.

Fourth. It directed them to sing the same verse over again whereunto Selah was annexed. Lastly, it was their instruction to elevate and lift up their voices, praising God with louder voices and loud sounding cymbals. Selah called upon them for louder strains of music and shrillness of voice. But seeing the Jewish harmony and sweet melody is overwhelmed in the ruins of their glorious temple, we remain unskilled in their notes, which doth obscure our annotations upon it. Let this suffice for the "music."  - Edmund Layfielde. 
 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Quotes

Comments on Psalm 40:8
'I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.'

'That [Jesus] came into the world to die for us is a mercy of the first magnitude; but that he came in love to our souls, and underwent all his sufferings with such willingness for our sakes, this heightens it above all apprehension.
...
Did Christ find pleasure in abasement and torment, in suffering and dying for me, and can I find no pleasure in praying, hearing, meditating, and enjoying the sweet duties of communion with him? Did he come so cheerfully to die for me, and do I go so dead heartedly to prayers and sacraments to enjoy fellowship with him? Was it a pleasure to him to shed his blood, and is it none to me to apply it, and reap the benefits of it? O let there be no more grumblings, lazy excuses, shiftings of duty, or dead hearted and listless performances of them, after such an example as this. Be ready to do the will of God, be ye also ready to suffer it. And as to sufferings for Christ, they should not be grievous to Christians that know how cheerfully Christ came from the bosom of the Father to die for them. What have we to leave or lose, in comparison with him? What are our sufferings to Christ's? Alas! there is no compare; there was more bitterness in one drop of his sufferings than in a sea of ours. To conclude: your delight and readiness in the paths of obedience is the very measure of your sanctification.' - Condensed from John Flavel.

'Thy law is within my heart. The law of God is not to be kept in books, but in the midst of our heart, that we may rightly understand the same, admire it, and observe it.' - Martin Geier.

'This law was in his heart, in the midst of his bowels. He did as much delight in it as we do in following those inclinations which nature has implanted in our hearts, as we do in eating and drinking. So he expresses it John 4:34 , "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." He was as willing to bleed and die for thee as thou art to eat when hungry. He was delighted as much to be scourged, wounded, crucified, as thou delightest in meat when most delicious.' - David Clarkson.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Last Day of Your Life

What would you do differently if you knew today was "The Last Day of Your Life"?
What if you knew this morning, when you opened your eyes in bed,
That today would be the last one for you, with eternity stretching ahead?
How would you change your schedule today if you knew it would be your last?
Who would you thank for investing in you, in the present and the past?
How would your life’s perspective

s shift from long-term goals to ‘today’
If you knew that in twenty-four hours or less it would all be swept away?
Would your bank account or investment plans matter so much to you
As the legacy you’ve left for your heirs of a faith that’s tried and true?
If you had but one more day to live, to cut through all your losses,
To cast aside the burden of unnecessary crosses,
There waits someone to hear words of forgiveness from your lips;
Perhaps some sinful habit holds you in its steely grip?
Your treasures seem but baubles as you view eternity
And cast aside those lesser things with faith in God’s decrees.
Which souls need Gospel tidings from your mouth to turn their hearts?
When did you leave your “first love” and make other things your art?
If this day were your last on earth, how would your mindset shift
From getting more possessions to giving yourself as a gift;
From making more excuses for laziness and pride
To industry and selflessness, taking the pain in stride.
I beg of you as I ask myself, dear friend, as the moments pass
To remember that life is oh so short: what’s done for Christ will last.
-Becky B. Morecraft
Thanks to Mrs. Morecraft for letting me post her poem!
A friend of ours recently died in a car crash--so unexpected and sad.  We knew him for many years--we met through homeschooling, and he grew up playing with us. He was a talented pianist, too.  Please pray for his family!  His name was Matthew Dunlop, and he is survived by parents, a sister, brother-in-law, nieces, and a nephew.  He was only twenty-nine years old.  We have hopes that he is in heaven, now, praise the Lord.

We never know when our time will come.
 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Two Sites for Buying Organic/Natural Products

Here are two sites for buying natural/organic products!  We've been inspired to use more of them after going to the Reformation of Food and the Family Conference, because some of the chemicals and things can really be harmful to us. (It was a great conference, by the way! There was a lot to learn and fun cooking contests.)

We are friends with these people. And from what we've tried of them so far, we really do like their products, and have heard good testimonials.

First is Dominion Acres, run by a lovely Christian family. We've tried their honey, some of their soap, their shampoo bar, and a couple of their lip balms (Lemon Meringue and Black Cherry).  It's all good!  I've only used the shampoo bar twice so far, but it had some lather and seemed to clean my hair about as well as any shampoo!  I was a bit skeptical about it at first, but seriously...it does seem to work well, and smells nice, too. 

The second is Naturally Green Girl by our two sweet and knowledgeable Christian friends, Hannah and Esther.  We haven't tried their stuff, yet, but we've had a testimonial from a friend who said their underarm deodorant worked well.  We have their cookbook, OATS: That's What's for Breakfast, which includes lovely color photos, and almost half are gluten free. I've only tried one of the simpler recipes from it so far, but it was good.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wonderous Grace!

Romans 3: 21-26:
'But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference;
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,
to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.'

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Book Review - Your Life Without Limits (10-PK): Living Above Your Circumstances

This booklet is encouraging, but since it is short, it doesn't delve into things in depth.  It also seems to offer hope without God, though the author says he takes hope from God, as a Christian.  But is there any true, lasting hope without God? Perhaps the author is not saying there is, but it struck me in the wrong way.  Also cites secular people as heroes, which is not ideal. But there are some bits of wisdom, as he focuses on having hope even in difficult situations, and knowing that God has good plans for His children. I also found it interesting to learn about some of his difficulties, despair, and how he came through them.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review, but my opinion is unbiased.

Johann Sebastian Bach - Book Review


 Though I was a bit slow to finish reading this, I enjoyed it. Having known very little about Bach except that he wrote "To the Glory of God Alone" (in Latin) on many of his musical works, it was fascinating to find out more about the man. In a manageable length and style, Rick Marschall gives highlights from Bach's life and times.  I learned more about Bach's genius (both in composing and in inventing!), family, and more. Bach was apparently a very humble man who worked his hardest, looking to God for help, and giving glory to God for everything. How we might emulate that example!  I enjoyed the quotes from Bach and people who lived in his time or thereafter (and at least one quote from Martin Luther, whose faith Bach shared).  There were some rather distressing things mentioned in the latter part of how people have idolized Bach, and this sentiment should have been corrected.  Overlooking that, if you want to learn the central points of Bach's life and style of composing, and have a little inspiration thrown in, this is the book for you.  Four out of five stars.

I received a free ebook copy of this from booksneeze.com, but this is my honest review.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Today's Messages

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. - Psalm 84:10

I hope this is true for all of us, and that you had a blessed Lord's Day!

Today's sermon and message for the Lord's table were needed.

 The Lord's table message revolved around the leaven in the lump of bread....

Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.  Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. - 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

Our dear elder likened this to ink poured in pure water, tinting the whole glass of water. So leaven makes a lump of bread rise--not just part of it.  And so sin affects the whole of our being if we don't cast it out.  This is a scary thought, is it not?

We must continually remember what Jesus has done for us.

The main message was about the parable of the sower and ground. What kind of hearts do we have?  Mine tends to become anxious and excessively focused on things, which is a lot like the thorny ground.  May God be all our hope and stay and joy, not the things of this world, which choke out the Word of God.

Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. - Matthew 13:22

Instead, I pray we will be as this:

But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. - Matthew 13:23

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kevin Swanson Radio Message

There is a lot of food for thought, here. Oversimplified?  I'm not so sure. Tell me what you think.  I have watched Batman Begins, and found it somewhat entertaining (with caveats), but I don't know if I should or could stomach the second and third movies.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sermon Link

I listened to this Spurgeon sermon today, and I have to say it made me wonder about myself.  Why is there so little zeal for God in my life?  I needed the questioning, the rebuke, the refreshing.  Spurgeon does lay it on frankly and perhaps over-dogmatically, but in the end he confesses his sin, too, so I realize that though I sin, God is a great Savior, yet I dare not use that as an excuse for lethargy.  And it is also a message for the lost, those seeking God.  Please take a listen.  Holy Violence

Results of the Last Poll

Do you read just one book a time, or several?

Just one.
  3 (21%)
I switch around between two or three.
  9 (64%)
I have stacks of books around that I read at whim.
  4 (28%)
It depends on the book.
  4 (28%)

Votes: 14
Poll closed

The Courtship/Betrothal Debate

I've always kind of wondered whether courtship was the best route, or just betrothal. Betrothal seemed more biblical, but courtship seemed to work and be exciting and logical.  But there are dangers to it.  And is it biblical?  Can courtship and betrothal work together?  That's how one of my siblings did it.  I'm still left with a few questions, but I'm leaning more toward betrothal, without a courtship period, since courtship is not found in the Bible, and we are to go by that rather than our heart or what we think will work. I believe the fathers/mothers should have a deep discussion with the young man before deciding on going forward with betrothal, perhaps even a questionnaire for him to fill out (as my brother's in-laws had him fill out), but I can see this working.  Will it always work out perfectly?  Probably not, for man is sinful, and sometimes unexpected things do come up.  Is it more likely to work out than courtship?  Perhaps so.  But I'm no authority, having never gone through dating, courting, or betrothal.  Here is a link that discusses courtship and betrothal in more length:

Betrothal: Should We Kiss Courtship Goodbye?

Read it, then fill out my poll on the subject, if you would, please. I did forget engagement on some of the answers in the poll, so you'll have to assume that is meant along with "dating," "courting," and "just friendship." :\

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Book Review - Safely Home


Ben Fielding, former college roommate to Li Chuan, presses on in his busy life, forgetting his promise to pray for his roommate after he returns to China, forgetting the God he thought he followed.  Ben's goals are to be CEO of his company.  When the company gives him an assignment of living in China for a while with Li Chuan, things all begin to change. Things are not as he thought in successful China, or in the life of his old roommate.  Poverty and suffering seem to be the lot of Li Chuan.  Yet there is something that Chuan has that Ben has never tasted. Something strong and free and happy.

And from heaven, the Watchers see and await the perfect judgment of the King.

A terribly, wonderfully eye-opening book on the reality of martyrs in China, and the joy they find in Jesus.

The only things I didn't particularly like were the women preachers and the speculation on heaven.  And yet it is interesting and inspiring to think about what heaven may be like, and the joy awaiting us, whether everything is quite as the author imagines, or not. Also it inspires to press on toward the goal, fearing no fire.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Excerpt from Our Book

A sneak peek of the book I am writing, along with my family.  It may not be 100% accurate, for my memories are hazy from that time long ago when I was just four or five years old, but I do remember times like this, and the general feeling of it.  What a blessing godly mothers are!

Darkness and silence penetrated my being like a living force.  What was in the dark halls?  What lay beyond the window panes, creeping in the bushes or lurking beneath the swaying pine trees?  Why did everything seem so much scarier when the sky went dark?

I huddled under a blanket in the nursery, hoping someone would come along to keep me company.  And there!  Footsteps on the floorboards.  Mommy gently pushed open the door, a small smile lighting her face.

"Still awake?"

I nodded, blinking up at her.

She took me on her lap and enveloped me in her arms.

Softly, she sang, "Safe am I, safe am I, in the hollow of His hand.  Sheltered o'er, sheltered o'er, in the hollow of His hand.  No foe can harm me, no fear alarm me, for He keeps both day and night.  Safe am I, safe am I, in the hollow of His hand."

Her clear voice stopped, and again the stillness echoed like a tomb.

Then the tune that danced and cheered, "He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the wealth in every mine.  He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills, the moon and stars that shine.  Wonderful riches, more than tongue can tell.  He is my Father, so they're mine as well. . . . He owns the cattle on a thousand hills--I know that He will care for me!"

I smiled, content at last to close my eyes and sleep.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Twelfth Imam - book review

This was quite an exciting read, especially in the last half (I read that for two hours straight), and there are definite things to be learned from this book. The Muslim doctrines of the Twelfth Imam are documented, as well as other beliefs. The characters evoke emotion and the traits of real people. How sadly deceived are so many people in this world, hoping in the false messiah, or a false hope of rewards for their martyrdom and works! One of the main characters, David, is an American with Iranian parents, and his story goes from his awkward teenage years to his secretive, busy life with the CIA. There is a bit of romance, and one instance of premarital sex (implied and not condoned), but it is not focused on romance. I believe the whole points of the novel are to show that Iran may be very close to having the nuclear bomb, the end of the world may be near, and that the Lord Jesus is working in the Muslim world, amid all the horror and deception. There are a couple of instances of mysterious appearances, both by Satanic/demonic forces and by Jesus, himself, the latter of which made me uncomfortable, since I don't believe He will appear to people before He returns in the air and later on the earth for good. However, it is basically a good story that will stick in my mind for some time. Recommended for discerning action-lovers ages 13+. Check with your parents before reading, of course.

(Read from November 03 to 08, 2011, and reviewed shortly after.)

See the review of the sequel here. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Morning and Evening Quote - June 2

 Yes, I am a day off, but I'm glad I was mixed up and read this today.

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.”

Galatians 5:17

In every believer’s heart there is a constant struggle between the old nature and the new. The old nature is very active, and loses no opportunity of plying all the weapons of its deadly armoury against newborn grace; while on the other hand, the new nature is ever on the watch to resist and destroy its enemy. Grace within us will employ prayer, and faith, and hope, and love, to cast out the evil; it takes unto it the “whole armour of God,” and wrestles earnestly. These two opposing natures will never cease to struggle so long as we are in this world. The battle of “Christian” with “Apollyon” lasted three hours, but the battle of Christian with himself lasted all the way from the Wicket Gate to the river Jordan. The enemy is so securely entrenched within us that he can never be driven out while we are in this body: but although we are closely beset, and often in sore conflict, we have an Almighty helper, even Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, who is ever with us, and who assures us that we shall eventually come off more than conquerors through Him. With such assistance the new-born nature is more than a match for its foes. Are you fighting with the adversary today? Are Satan, the world, and the flesh, all against you? Be not discouraged nor dismayed. Fight on! For God Himself is with you; Jehovah Nissi is your banner, and Jehovah Rophi is the healer of your wounds. Fear not, you shall overcome, for who can defeat Omnipotence? Fight on, “looking unto Jesus;” and though long and stern be the conflict, sweet will be the victory, and glorious the promised reward. “From strength to strength go on; Wrestle, and fight, and pray, Tread all the powers of darkness down, And win the well-fought day.”

{via Christian Classics Ethereal Library

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Train of Thought

I hope you enjoy these poems I wrote while I was on a train!

4-2-12
A flock of birds pass
Below, not above,
Their wings silver flashes
Equal, en mass.

A farmhouse, robed white,
Flies by, then a field.
Rows upon rows of
A viridian sight.

A church steeple peeps
Above the wild trees,
And the cattle are grazing in
Fenced-about keeps.

Yellow weeds jumble
In sweet disarray;
I wonder if the birds feel
Their home is quite humble!

4-2-12
Old shacks and cars and rusted roofs,
A cemetery so aloof.
We pass them by and hear the sound
Of whistle warning those on ground.
Rows of green, or tumbled bunches
Remind us soon it's time for lunches.
Death and life in close proximity--
They echo of eternity.

4-2-12
Owl-like I am,
To soak up all the sights,
A swivel-head
You could call me by rights....
Tunnels of green bowers,
A field full of flowers,
A junkyard with wire hills,
A river the sky fills.
Rippling, soft grass I see,
Cows lumbering by me.
People walk by inside,
Fixing their swaying stride.
A longhorn leads a pack
'Cross a glassy blue track.
A red truck keeps abreast
With the train, 'til we crest.
A butterfly says hello
As we enter town real slow.

4-2-12
The charm of a train is lost
When we lose an hour
Stopped on the tracks.
It picks up again
The minute we set off.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

To Read Fiction or Not - Quote from Spurgeon


 Agree or disagree?
How many young people there are whose hearts are just a road along which thoughts of levity and desires for amusement are continually going! How many precious hours are wasted over the novels of the day! I think that one of the worst enemies of the Gospel of Christ, at the present time, is to be found in the fiction of the day. People get these worthless books and sit, and sit—forgetful of the duties of this world and of all that relates to the world to come—just losing themselves in the story of the hero or heroine. I have seen them shedding tears over things that never happened, as if there were not enough real sorrows in the world for us to grieve over! So these feet of fictitious personages, these feet of foolish frivolities, these feet of mere nonsense, or worse, keep traversing the hearts of men and making them hard so that the Gospel cannot enter.
from THE SEED BY THE WAYSIDE, NO. 2843, a sermon, DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON THURSDAY EVENING, SEPTEMBER 13, 1888. “As he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.” Luke 8:5.
As much as I usually like Spurgeon's quotes, I can't fully agree with this.  I do agree that fiction can be a waste of time, and I used to become so engrossed in (mostly just entertaining) novels that I could hardly tear myself away to do my duties or read the Bible, so I understand that part.  My dad warned us against escaping reality this way, and I never understood him at the time.  However, some novels provide Biblical wisdom, similar to a parable.  Some provide lessons in manhood and womanhood and noble virtues.  Some provide an interesting look at history.  Some merely give us something to laugh about, which I believe can be good, uplifting medicine, as the Bible speaks about.  Yet let us remember that novels can be harmful, just as movies can, and we are to be careful what we watch or read.  It is a shame if we shirk our duties and avoid seeing and helping with the needs right around us.  Also, there are biographies, theological books, and other nonfiction that can be more edifying and helpful to read.  And let us remember that the Bible is the best book--not to be neglected, but to be studied and gone over until we are so familiar with it that we live by it and advise by it and die by it.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lovely Quote

And now, Lord, what do I wait for?
My hope is in You.

Sweet it is that our hope should rest in him who is never shaken; should abide in him who never changeth; should bind us to him who can hold us fast to himself, who alone is the full contentment of the soul; should, as it were, enter into him; since "in him is our being," who is love. - E. B. Pusey, D.D., 1853. (The Treasury of David)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival

This post is overdue, but I hope you enjoy it. :)

I recently was blessed to be a volunteer at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival.  I wasn't sure at first that it would work out, but some dear, kind friends and family helped me to be able to get a ride there--God was gracious!  The first day (Thursday) I went with friends who were volunteers that day, and we arrived early.

I came across my brother-in-law, Michael, and he introduced me to Mr. Pat Roy, writer and editor of the Jonathan Park radio adventure series. Mr. Roy was very down-to-earth and friendly, and I enjoyed talking with him.  I also was introduced to George Sarris, a compelling and animated Bible performer. Michael was kind enough to take me backstage, then offer to take me to lunch with him and Pat Roy.  I couldn't refuse such an offer, despite the egg salad sandwich and snacks in my lunch bag.  (I decided to save them for supper.)  On the way there, we met up with Mr. Colin Gunn, producer/writer of several documentaries, most recently IndoctriNation.  It was exciting to meet him and one of his daughters.  He was going to lunch, too, so we joined him.  I enjoyed hearing some of the things they have learned and what they've been up to, though I didn't hear as much as I would have liked, since the restaurant was a bit noisy with chattering people. Yet I count it a special time.

After that, I headed off to my first film.  I will list all the films I saw below, so stay tuned if you're interested in learning more about them and my thoughts on them.

Some friends and me at supper-time
Other people I met up with were: several families from our church (enjoyed a couple of outdoor meals and chats with them), Laura and Lacie Verret and their mom (always a pleasure!), Hannah Mendenhall, the makers of The Forgotten Martyr: Lady Jane Grey (they were sweet, down-to-earth people with an obvious love for the Lord), random strangers, my (previously only-online) friend Jenny Leding and her mother (both so sweet!), and dear friends who moved from the area to TN.  It was just a blessing all around. :)
The Verrets with me - Photo credit: My sister Annie

And part of that was my volunteering.  The first night I had a slot to work for an hour, and my early jitters wore off quickly, since the people were friendly and the night was informal.  One lady encouraged me, too, by saying I was doing a good job. (Thank you, whoever you were!)  Sadly, I didn't know all the answers to people's questions, but overall it wasn't too hard.  I left at the end of that film and headed to the Charlie Zahm and Tad Marks concert on the Riverwalk nearby, thankfully getting help and an escort from a friend.  At the concert I was to meet up with my sisters and nieces and nephews, but I also met up with Jenny Leding there, who was just leaving with friends.  It was surreal to see her there, but neat!  I didn't get to hear much of the concert, but it was good, and I also enjoyed talking with friends there.

Photo credit: My sister Annie
The next day our brother came to pick us up before the evening event.  We did arrive early in the morning, though, and saw some good films and met up with friends, again.  We also heard a lecture from Kevin Swanson, quite thought-provoking (read more below).


On Saturday, my brother drove my sister and me in at nearly 8:00 AM, since I had volunteer work then. I was stationed at the large theater this time, where they were showing Two Hats, then IndoctriNation. Annie and I met up (she had gone to somethings else during IndoctriNation, since we had already seen that) and saw some films together.

Jenny Leding and me - Photo credit: My sister Annie
Before the Closing Ceremonies, we wanted to eat somewhere and were looking for someone to help point us to the food court, or go eat with us.  We ran across Jenny Leding and her mom and asked them about that. They were going to eat elsewhere, but they kindly walked with us and helped us get to the food court.  I had them sign my autograph book (a film festival tradition), and we snapped a couple of photos before they headed off.  At the food court, we were pleasantly surprised to see two of our friends from church, Jill and Clara. They were eating frozen yogurt, and they invited us to sit with them, which we did with pleasure.

The Closing Ceremonies were quite exciting, though I was busy with the doors, thus a little distracted. 

Order of Events:
~Thursday~
1:00 pm - Unplanned (1:02) Mature
I had read the book of the same name by Abby Johnson, so I wanted to see this.  It was, again, touching and incredible.  Amazing to think that, by God's grace, simple acts of kindness and love can affect someone so much, even someone as deeply entrenched in her way of life in leading an abortion clinic!  We have to be concerned for others whether we agree with them or not. This story will stay in my mind and heart for a long time to come, and makes me want to work somehow against abortion.

2:45 pm - Weighing the Evidence: Examining the Fruit of Charles Finney vs. Jonathan Edwards (:52)
Narrated by articulate boys, this film presents the vast differences between Finney and Edwards.  Dr. Joe Morecraft is one of the men they interviewed. They give good descriptions of the two famous preacher's beliefs and how that translated into their work.  If you think counting Christians based on who said the sinner's prayer or walked the aisle is correct, or if you want to find out more about the differences between the men's two doctrines, you would do well to check out this film.

3:37 pm - Sforzando (1:05)
This film presents the staff and ways of learning at the Sforzando music camp. The staff seems committed to bringing glory to God and teaching children, et. all, to use their talents for Him with the best of their ability.  The music is conservative and Classical, getting into some of the reasons for this, as opposed to rock or music related to that.  I would not perhaps go as far against all the types of music the teacher denounced, but this was a minor, though interesting, point of the film.  I also appreciated the segment on music history and theory, and the humility and gentleness of the conductor.  The film seemed to drag a bit near the end, and I think there could have been a better wrap-up of the purpose and joy of music, not just a showcase of their music, which was not all wonderful to listen to. (Some was quite enjoyable.)

George Sarris

6:30 pm - Opening Ceremonies
We heard a rousing speech from Mr. Phillips, an excellent performance by George Sarris, and some special music! (Charlie Zahm led us in the U.S. national anthem.)

Charlie Zahm performing - Photo credit: My sister Annie

8:30 pm - Crying Wolf: Exposing the Wolf Reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park
First place winner in the Creation category. I was volunteering at this film, otherwise I probably wouldn't have chosen to watch this. But it was very well-done and got its point across clearly.  Is man to be in dominion over the animals and to protect his own property, or not?  This film posits from the Scriptures that man is God's highest creation and we should not support the survival or needs of animals over that of humans.  It also concludes that the government has been less than fair in introducing wolves into the U.S.

Live at the Arneson River Theatre: Charlie Zahm and Tad Marks (8:30-10:00 pm, but I went over at about 9:35) - Toe-tapping music from two great ballad/folk musicians.

~Friday~
8:30 am - A Voice for Life (1:02) Mature
This is the amazing story of a woman named Melissa who survived an abortion.  She suffered no physical damage, but it was a blow when she found out her birth mother aborted her.  Though the film is told by Catholics, there is much here to learn and enjoy, in a similar vein as Unplanned, yet unique.

9:32 am - The Karen: Forgotten but not Forsaken (:23) Mature
Kirk Cameron narrates this heart-wrenching documentary of the Karen people.  Their faith and love in difficult circumstances is inspiring. Runner up in the Great Commission category.

10:30 - Young Filmmakers:
Like Treasure (:15)
This short film is a humorous retelling of the hidden treasure parable.  It is made in the tradition of the silent films of yesteryear, and is well done in that regard.  I laughed throughout, yet I think they got the serious message across pretty clearly.

Pain of Death (:11)
This story is set in the future, in a country (presumably America) in which Christians are hunted down and put to death.  A non-Christian father who is on the killing side of the business decides to do what he can to get his Christian daughter to safety before she is killed. I would give this a mature rating, though the violence is not gratuitous.  The acting and such are not the best (not unusual for a newbie film-maker), but it took some creativity to make and does get you to think.

The Forgotten Martyr: Lady Jane Grey (:15)
This--rightly, in my opinion--won the top Young Filmmaker's Award.  The cinematography, acting, and story were all well done, with an artistic quality and historicity.  Beyond that, it made me think of my own life, whether I am being a bold enough witness of Christ, and have the deep love of Christ that Lady Jane Grey showed.

Jonah (:14)
This is an animated film--pretty good for someone just starting out--of the Biblical story of Jonah. The story leaves off just after the Ninivites repent.

Joseph in Egypt II (:15)
This retelling of part of Joseph's story will likely bring a smile or laugh to your lips.  The characters are round-headed, cartoon-like characters, and they often speak in a more modern way.  I'm not sure if this approach is the best, but it does entertain as well as teach.

I Don't Believe in Guns (:08)
A humorous portrayal of the illustration by Gary DeMar, which shows that the Bible is an effective tool if we take it out and use it.  Runner up in the Young Filmmaker's category.

The Ultimate Weapon (:08)
A slightly more serious portrayal of the same Gary DeMar illustration about wielding the Bible boldly and well.  Friends of ours made this, and we enjoyed it!

The makers of The Ultimate Weapon and I Don't Believe in Guns talking about their movies. - Photo credit: My sister Annie

1:00 - Short Films (I missed some of these, but saw all listed):
The Dancer (:11)
A documentary giving a glimpse into the life of an orphan boy in India.

History of Nikola Tesla and Saint Patrick (:06)
These were two informative films, done in fun stick-figure style.

Check This Out (:15)
Informative, fast-paced segments make up this film, with questions about race, fossils, and more.  They are cute and easier to understand than the lectures. Put out by Answers in Genesis. Runner up in the Creation category.

The Save (:07)
To be candid, I didn't quite understand what this one was all about, except the obvious of baseball.  Maybe something about mentoring, too.  There is little to no talking in the film.  Perhaps I missed something, which isn't unlikely, since I know next to nothing about baseball and I was at the very back of the theater with a lot of heads in front of me.

The Jester (:11)
First place winner in Short Films.  A silent but color film, about a discouraged jester recently fired from his job for not producing enough laughs.  He walks about and stumbles on two stoic children leaning against a tree near a wagon.  He tries everything he can think of to get them to laugh, but the true way he does so comes as a surprise.  I wasn't sure what to make of this film at first, but there are a few Biblical principals artistically played out in it, and it did keep my attention all the way through.  The turnaround ending may come a bit suddenly, but in a short film it worked pretty well.  Not a light film as it may first appear, though it is not unnecessarily dark, either.

Johnny Texas (:15)
This silent film was a fun one, encouraging chivalry as a young man goes to find his sisters, who were kidnapped.


Brothers (:09)
This is the story of two adult brothers, one the "good kid," one the prodigal son.  At their father's funeral, there is tension between them. The acting is quite good, but the ending seems a bit sudden, perhaps.

Don't Lose Heart (:13)
In this film, we see a father out of touch with his daughter, who eagerly seeks his time.  The father eventually realizes that the relationship with his daughter is more important than his personal pursuits--but is it too late?

Love You (:04)
In a similar story-line to the previous film, we see a brother squelching his younger brother's desire to spend time with him.  Will the realization of wrong-doing come too late?


The Button (:15)
This was an animated lego film, with a few special effects to take it up a notch.  The story-line was intriguing, and I think I got the gist of the message, about selfishness and perhaps Prov. 14:12--There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

4:00 pm - Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and Your Family: A Biblical View of Fantasy, by Kevin Swanson
This talk was a helpful analysis of fantasy and how we should desire the pure and holy, not the wicked, even in a fantasy environment.  Where do the creatures get their power?  What's in a name or label, and does it matter?  Those and more were covered in this talk.

~Saturday~
8:30 am - Two Hats (1:26)
First place winner in the Great Commission category.  It was beautifully filmed and provided a lot of interesting tidbits of life in Papua New Guinea and the missionary family's setting up of the first Christian radio station there.  The family's cheerful and loving attitude is inspiring.  They also have a good multi-generational mindset, hoping to instill a love of missions in their children's lives.

10:30 am - IndoctriNation (2:12) Mature
First place winner in Documentaries, and much-deserved (also Runner up in the Best of Festival category).  Some of the subject matter is mature and a bit frightening, but it is very important for adults to see.  I watched it twice so far, and each time I was riveted.  The film keeps a good pace and has special touches of graphics and timelines.

1:00 pm - Church Planting in Utah and Idaho (:59) (Missed the first 5-10 minutes)
This is an informative and inspiring documentary of the LDS community and missionaries presenting the gospel to them.

2:00 pm - Only One Life: The Phyllis Rine Story (:11)
This is the story of a woman who proclaimed Christ in the everyday things, in talking to children, etc., at home and abroad.

2:12 pm - Uganda Man (1:05)
This is a colorful and captivating film about a Christian Ugandan, his story, and the story of his people.

3:45 pm - Captivated: Finding Freedom in a Media Captive Culture (1:09) (Missed the last 5-10 minutes) Runner up in the Documentary category.  This is a thought-provoking film about the pitfalls of media. 

7:30  pm - Closing Ceremonies:
Performance by Becky Morecraft
Performance by George Sarris
Jubilee Awards
Performance by Charlie Zahm

The award winners humbly and joyfully thanked the Lord, and amid bursts of applause and cheers, Stephen Kendrick (winner of the Best of Festival Award for Courageous) pointed up in dedication to God.  His speech put it nicely: that in the Academy Awards it would be awkward if anyone thanked the Lord, but here it would be awkward if they didn't.  This was an exciting climax to an encouraging and enjoyable event.  And the fun didn't stop there!  Charlie Zahm sang and Tad Marks played afterward, along with young, adorable Virginia Phillips.  We missed hearing Mr. Phillips play the harmonica, but I heard tell that it was a great highlight, as well.  Will you be joining the group in 2013?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Poll

Do you celebrate Christmas?
Yes
  0 (0%)
No
  1 (14%)
No, because of the pagan origins/elements.
  3 (42%)
No, because of the Regulative Principle.
  0 (0%)
No, because of both reasons stated above.
  1 (14%)
Yes, because it's fun and harmless.
  0 (0%)
Yes, because we believe it's about Christ's birth.
  2 (28%)
Yes, because of the previous two reasons.
  0 (0%)

~

I'm so late in posting this and a new poll!  Thanks for voting.  It's a big, sort of tough issue to sort through, but I believe the pagan origins & elements are quite strong.  Some are disputed, yes, but to be safe, I don't want to celebrate the day.  I DO rejoice over Christ's birth in the form of lowly human-kind, yet the day of His death we are asked to remember.

I have a new poll up, something a little lighter.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Watched this film tonight:



It is good--half movie, half documentary, and has a few quotes from Spurgeon and his sermons.  "Look and live"--what a wonderful, simple truth!  Jesus, if we are His, has paid it all!

Randomly, here are a few recent photos I took from the first month of 2012.

Jan. 7 - A walk with friends

 Jan.11 - A painting I was working on (done, now!)

 Jan. 15 - Some odd sort of sheep (at least the one on the left is odd!)

 Jan. 17 - Looking at God's beautiful creation on a walk

 Jan. 17 - Looking at God's beautiful, fascinating creation on a walk

 Jan. 19 - Light

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quote

From The Treasury of David by Spurgeon, Psalm 39:6.

Verse 6. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew. Life is but a passing pageant. This alone is sure, that nothing is sure. All around us shadows mock us; we walk among them, and too many live for them as if the mocking images were substantial; acting their borrowed parts with zeal fit only to be spent on realities, and lost upon the phantoms of this passing scene. Worldly men walk like travellers in a mirage, deluded, duped, deceived, soon to be filled with disappointment and despair. Surely they are disquieted in vain. Men fret, and fume, and worry, and all for mere nothing. They are shadows pursuing shadows, while death pursues them. He who toils and contrives, and wearies himself for gold, for fame, for rank, even if he wins his desire, finds at the end of his labour lost; for like the treasure of the miser's dream, it all vanishes when the man awakes in the world of reality. Read well this text, and then listen to the clamour of the market, the hum of the exchange, the din of the city streets, and remember that all this noise (for so the word means), this breach of quiet, is made about unsubstantial, fleeting vanities. Broken rest, anxious fear, over worked brain, failing mind, lunacy, these are the steps in the process of disquieting with many, and all to be rich, or, in other words, to load one's self with the thick clay; clay, too, which a man must leave so soon. He heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them. He misses often the result of his ventures, for there are many slips between the cup and the lips. His wheat is sheaved, but an interloping robber bears it away—as often happens with the poor Eastern husbandman; or, the wheat is even stored, but the invader feasts thereon. Many work for others all unknown to them. Especially does this verse refer to those all gathering muckrakes, who in due time are succeeded by all scattering forks, which scatter riches as profusely as their sires gathered them parsimoniously. We know not our heirs, for our children die, and strangers fill the old ancestral halls; estates change hands, and entail, though riveted with a thousand bonds, yields to the corroding power of time. Men rise up early and sit up late to build a house, and then the stranger tramps along its passages, laughs in its chambers, and forgetful of its first builder, calls it all his own. Here is one of the evils under the sun for which no remedy can be prescribed.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

IndoctriNation


IndoctriNation Trailer from IndoctriNation on Vimeo.


We watched this film recently and I highly recommend it.  It shows some of the serious problems with public schools via interviews, court cases, and facts. Some of it may shock you.  Please watch and support this film!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Homemaking Poems

A Homemaker's Prayer
by Melissa M.
1-6-12

Let me be a homemaker,
Not a homebreaker....
Let me never dread
Sweeping cobwebs overhead
Or polishing panes distressed
'Til they look their shiny best.
Let me delight to see
The counters clean and free
As often as the sun
Makes its glad upward run.
Let me cook with flair
And, yes, bathe all in prayer.
Let not a shrill, rash word
From my mouth ever be heard,
But may words of wisdom and grace
Always take their place.
A million little tasks,
Whatever my mother asks,
Are not so small after all
When done to honor the Creator of all.

~

And this one is a little rougher, but still has some good points. Maybe I need to work on it some more.
It could easily be misunderstood; I know there is much more a homemaker can do than just cleaning and cooking. I meant that the home should be our main focus and sphere, and fame is not what we should be seeking for. (To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. - Titus 2:5)

Keeper at Home
1-4-12

My hands are soapy,
Spattered with crumbs.
A thousand stains
Return each night and day.
I sigh and think
Of building bridges,
Of speeches grand
And polished words
Written 'neath covers gold.
Of mission huts
In tribal lands,
And sculptures of heroic bands.
Yet where would all that
Leave the home? I ask.
Wounded knees would
Remain unpatched.
Kitchen and tub
And floors unmatched
In dirt anywhere world-wide.
I'd bounce from place to place,
Yet have no coming home,
No lived-in nooks,
No loving looks,
No neatness or flourish.
Do these matter in spite of it all?
Does the daily grind at home
Make up a job as important
As others?
Just ask the ones
Whose mothers prayed
And wept and played
And sang and stayed
And bought and made
And never complained,
Always sought good and right.
Was it worth the fight?
My mother is such,
And where would I be
Without her sweet touch
Of diligence and love?
She bravely went on,
Followed husband's lead
As if solemnly decreed...
Perhaps it was, indeed.
My hands are slimy,
Covered in grime.
Is it worth my time?
I'll let you answer this time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Quotes from The Treasury of David

I decided this year I'd definitely try to finish reading the first volume of The Treasury of David, and upon looking at where I had been several months ago, I discovered some more gems, some which I had gone by without sharing.  Psalm 37 and these comments were just what my fretful self needed--my own personal gift from God! May they bless you, as well.

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily shalt be fed. - Psalm 37:3

'Faith cures fretting.  Sight is cross-eyed, and views things only as they seem, hence her envy; faith has clearer optics to behold things as they really are, hence her peace.'

'Very much of our outward depends upon the inward; where there is heaven in the heart there will be heaven in the house.'

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. - Psalm 37:7

'Determine, let the wicked succeed as they may, that you will treat the matter with indifference, and never allow a question to be raised as to the righteousness and goodness of the Lord.  What if wicked devices succeed and your own plans are defeated!  there is more of the love of God in your defeats than in the successes of the wicked.'

Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.

"Wait on the Lord."  We have here the eighth precept, and it is a lofty eminence to attain to.  Tarry the Lord's leisure.  Wait in obedience as a servant, in hope as an heir, in expectation as a believer.  This little word "wait" is easy to say, but hard to carry out, yet faith must do it.  "And keep his way."  Continue in the narrow path; let no haste for riches or ease cause unholy action.  Let your motto be, "On, on, on," Never flag, or dream of turning aside.  "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved."  "And he shall exalt thee to inherit the land."  Thou shalt have all of earthly good which is really good, and of heavenly good there shall be no stint.'

Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.

'With believers it may rain in the morning, thunder at midday, and pour in torrents in the afternoon, but it must clear up ere the sun goes down.  War may last till our last hour, but then we shall hear the last of it.'