Field Stone Cottage Blog

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Chew on This: Psalm 4

1)Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.
2O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach?
How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah.
3But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself;
The LORD hears when I call to Him.
4Tremble, and do not sin;
Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
5Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And trust in the LORD.
6Many are saying, "Who will show us any good?"
Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O LORD!
7You have put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.
8In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety.

The first thought I had upon reading this psalm was in relation to the phrase "Oh God of my righteousness!" He surely is God of my righteousness! I have not one iota of righteousness of my own. All that is credited to me in the way of righteousness comes from Him through Christ and that surely is "relief in distress." So since He has such an interest, such a stake, in me why would I ever doubt that He would hear my prayer? Why do I worry so about the uncertainties of life?

Similarly, in verse 2, any honor I have is from God but that is a reproach in the eyes of the world. Something to mock and laugh at while they love what is worthless and deceptive.

But I belong to God who hears when I call. That's the God of the universe I belong to! Think about that and tremble before Him, I tell myself. I offer my obedience, poor as it is, and trust in Him.

The light of the face of God shines on me! That gives me more gladness, more pleasure to contemplate than any earthly affluence. My complete sense of safety is dependent only on Him. And I am His. I can rest completely in that knowledge.

For me, a sinner prone to worry excessively, I can draw comfort, oh so much comfort, in the words of this psalm of David!

One last thought about the references to lying in bed. In verse 4, the psalmist says, "Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still." And in verse 8, "In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety." These references make me think of the way worries become magnified at night when I go to bed and lay there thinking of all the concerns of the day. It can make me restless and far from sleep, for sure! But my only safety in all situations comes from the Lord. In Him, I can not only lie down, but also sleep in peace, turning all concerns over to Him, remembering that in Him is my safety, my security.

Dear Father, I am ashamed of all the times I do worry about all kinds of earthly concerns and forget where my only safety is. I ask your forgiveness and I thank you for the peace that only comes from knowing You.

Leslie at Light Came, invites us to share our meditations on this psalm. Read what she and others say and then share your thoughts as well.

Sunday's Hymn: Jesus Lives and So Shall I

Jesus lives, and so shall I.
Death! thy sting is gone forever!
He who deigned for me to die,
Lives, the bands of death to sever.
He shall raise me from the dust:
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and reigns supreme,
And, his kingdom still remaining,
I shall also be with him,
Ever living, ever reigning.
God has promised: be it must:
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and by his grace,
Vict'ry o'er my passions giving,
I will cleanse my heart and ways,
Ever to his glory living.
Me he raises from the dust.
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, I know full well
Nought from him my heart can sever,
Life nor death nor powers of hell,
Joy nor grief, hence forth forever.
None of all his saints is lost;
Jesus is my Hope and Trust.

Jesus lives, and death is now
But my entrance into glory.
Courage, then, my soul, for thou
Hast a crown of life before thee;
Thou shalt find thy hopes were just;
Jesus is the Christian's Trust.

Christian F. Gellert, 1757

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sprayed and so thankful!

A wonderful thing happened this morning! Besides being our 32nd wedding anniversary that is...and thank you all for the kind words and warm wishes on that.

But the thing I'm referring to now as wonderful is much more mundane. Our neighborhood was sprayed for mosquitoes at 4:30 this morning! It has been a terrible week for the little blood suckers. Well, actually, its been a good week for them. A terrible week for us as far as being in the same vicinity as them. After a fairly cool and pleasant spring, it got warm and humid quite quickly all know about the rain in the Midwest, right? Perfect mosquito weather! I no longer cared how bad those weeds got, I was on strike from feeding mosquitoes! I was only going out the minimal amount with Charlie and that with a very bad attitude. But today is a lovely, low humidity, sunshiny, slightly breezy day with, most importantly, very few mosquitoes! Thank you, God!

32 Years of Marriage

Today is an important day for me and Andy. It is our 32nd wedding anniversary! This is not a wedding picture, I do realize, but it is my favorite picture of us from that time period. But to be honest, I would not care to return to that time period. Neither of us are the same people we were in that picture and for that I am thankful. We've both grown through God's grace and I'd never want to return to what we were. I would like to take a moment though, right here on the internet, to praise and thank our gracious God for the husband He gave me, the husband who, in His infinite wisdom, He knew was perfect for me. And you know what? Andy is still the perfect husband for me! Thank you God for 32 years of marriage to a kind and loving husband and for using our marriage as Your instrument to grow us both. I am a blessed woman!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Jane Austen, anyone?

Anybody else a Jane Austen fan? I am! I love the movies as well as the books. And yes, I think Pride and Prejudice is really Jane Austen at her best. Funny, dramatic, romantic but also shaking her head at the world she lived in and the people who populated it.

I belong to a book discussion group at the public library in a neighboring community and, in July, we each read a book of our choice and then do a "book report" on it and present our book to the rest of the group. I love biographies too so often my choice is a biography. This year I read Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence and wholeheartedly enjoyed it. The unique thing about this particular biography of Jane Austen is that it interweaves her personal relationships and experiences with the stories she tells in her classic novels showing how her life affected her art. I found the biography thoroughly engaging but its been a while since I read some of the novels so I'm planning to reread the biography along with the novels in the order in which Jane Austen wrote them.

Meanwhile, I'd love to hear which Jane Austen novel you particularly enjoy. Or which movie of which novel is your favorite. Has anyone read any of the other biographies of Jane Austen? I'd love to get some Jane Austen discussion going here.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Price of Gas: June 26, 2008

I had tea with Kim this morning, always a treat, and made a stop at the library before heading home via the gas station. Here's what I found for the price of gas in Crystal Lake, IL today. Its down one cent which I know is better than up but still I wish it was better news. But it is more or less stable these last couple of weeks and the fact that it is not steeply climbing at the moment is something to be thankful for.

How much are you paying for gas these days? Rebecca is keeping track of prices from all over the world so stop by the Yukon and leave a comment for her about your local prices. See you there.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I totally agree with Elle that re-entry after vacation is a beast! And this time, its been the hardest ever for me. Maybe its part of the getting older thing. That's another ugly animal but don't worry. I won't go into all that now.

Really, I just want to say that I think I'm finally back! I thought I was almost here on Saturday but had a bit of a setback Sunday and yesterday. But now...its going to be okay. The yard is about where it would have been had we not left for a week. Notice, I didn't say it was all up to snuff but when is that ever going to happen? Same thing with the house. Anyway, I'm feeling good this afternoon. I can handle the undone aspects of life at the cottage now.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: The God of Abraham Praise

The God of Abraham praise,
Who reigns enthroned above;
Ancient of everlasting days,
And God of love:
Jehovah! great I AM!
By earth and heav'n confessed;
I bow and bless the sacred name,
For ever blest.

The God of Abraham praise,
At whose supreme command
From earth I rise, and seek the joys
At his right hand:
I all on earth forsake,
Its wisdom, fame, and power;
And him my only portion make,
My Shield and Tower.

He by himself hath sworn,
I on his oath depend;
I shall, on eagle's wings upborne,
To heav'n ascend:
I shall behold his face,
I shall his power adore,
And sing the wonders of his grace
For evermore.

The goodly land I see,
With peace and plenty blest,
A land of sacred liberty
And endless rest;
There milk and honey flow,
And oil and wine abound,
And trees of life for ever grow,
With mercy crowned.

There dwells the Lord our King,
The Lord our righteousness;
Triumphant over the world and sin,
The Prince of Peace
On Zion's sacred height
His kingdom still maintains,
And glorious with his saints in light
For ever reigns.

The whole triumphant host
Give thanks to God on high;
Hail Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
They ever cry:
Hail Abraham's God and mine!
I join the heavenly lays
All might and majesty are thine,
And endless praise.

These words are from The Yig­dal (doxology) of Dan­i­el ben Ju­dah, a Jew­ish judge in Rome, cir­ca 1400, par­a­phrased by Thomas Olivers, cir­ca 1765. The lyr­ics are based on the 13 creeds of Mos­es Mai­mon­i­des (cir­ca 1130-1204).

Friday, June 20, 2008

Blueberry Rhubarb Jam

Here's one for the rhubarb lovers among us. That includes me and, since I am also a blueberry lover, this recipe is practically perfect in my opinion.

In a large saucepan, bring 7 cups chopped rhubarb, 1 can blueberry pie filling and 4 cups sugar to a boil and keep at the boil for 10 minutes. Then add two 3 oz. packages of raspberry Jello stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat. Can be frozen or preserved using the hot water bath method.

And it is good!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Price of Gas: June 19, 2008

I didn't do my regular gas posting last Thursday because we were on vacation but when we passed by the pumps late Saturday on our way to the cottage, the price was $4.15 per gallon for regular unleaded. So we are actually down by one penny from the price a few days ago. Still a sickeningly high price but "a penny saved is a penny earned," right? And it is even higher for our neighbors to the north in Canada as well as those across the pond in Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK. Hey, its higher for our friends in California than we are paying. So maybe its a downright bargain, huh!?

How does your price stack up? Check it out and share in the comments over at Rebecca's place.

15 Words or Less Poem

Awakening stretches
From curled sleep.
Blink and yawn
Before smiling.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gas Prices in Wisconsin

As promised, I did keep track of gas prices last week as we traveled north from Crystal Lake, IL to Mercer, WI which is in the far Northwoods of Wisconsin. When we left home on June 7th, gas here was $4.11 per gallon. The cheapest prices we saw were just north of the border in southern Wisconsin $3.99 and occasionally even $3.95 per gallon! Bargains to be had, for sure. From Madison and all the way up through Wausaw it was $4.07 to $4.09. But once we got close to Minocqua which is more "tourist-y," it shot up to about $4.10 and $4.11. Pretty much the same as the price back home. In little Mercer, about 45 minutes north of Minocqua, it was $4.03 per gallon for regular unleaded.

Our destination was actually a cabin on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage, about another 40 minutes or so down the road, but Mercer was our last town to pass through. We did make a trip up to Ironwood, MI one day in the middle of the week that we were in the Northwoods and gas up there was back to southern WI levels...just under $4.00 per gallon.

We left the Northwoods to return home on June 14th and by then, gas had risen a few cents but the pattern of who had the cheapest gas was maintained. Mercer was up to $4.13, Minocqua about $4.15, just north of the border at $4.04 with still an occasionally bargain at $3.99 per gallon and $4.15 per gallon back home here in Crystal Lake, IL. And while I will post my usual end of the week gas pump picture and post, there has been no change here since our return at the weekend.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We're Home!

As some of you already know, we are home! It was a wonderful vacation...a true time of rest and renewal during which we experienced God's incredible provision and protection. All that flooding in the Midwest? We didn't even know it was going on, despite the fact that there was satellite TV in our cabin. Our weather radio met our needs and we didn't go to the Northwoods of Wisconsin to watch TV! So we weren't worried about anything back home...or even getting back home! And when we encountered detours due to the closing of I-90 on the drive back, we chalked it up to some massive road work and sat back to enjoy our unplanned tour of the small towns of Southern Wisconsin!

But here's what all that wet, warm, intermittently sunny weather meant to our yard when we did reach home: WEEDS, WEEDS, EVERYWHERE!

But also the lovely sight of these:

So if you wonder what I've been doing since we got home (besides laundry, that is) its spending lots of time in the yard getting it up to snuff. I just thank God for the neighbor who mowed our lawn while we were gone. That was an unanticipated blessing!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.


Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!


Thomas O. Chisholm, 1923

More Sunday's Hymns here.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!


Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!


His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!


Helen H. Lemmel, 1922

I've always posted a hymn that we sang in church that morning before this one but I am actually not at my church this Sunday so I don't know what was sung. I've always loved this hymn and so many times it has sprung to mind during our study of the book of Hebrews. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Project Blue: Take Seven

Here's another blue addition thanks to one of my neighbors. They've been a great resource for me! And in the not too distant future, I expect to see one of these in a particular friend's yard as well. That grandson may even be born before I get back from vacation!

Anyway, I am taking a blogging break for the next week while we are gone. I am actually gone now but I love the new blogger feature that allows me to schedule a post for a later date. I had to use it for this one and my Sunday's Hymn post just because I can!

Have a wonderful week, everyone! I'll catch up with you when I get back. Meanwhile, check out more Project Blue at Anna Carson Photography.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Project Blue: Take Six

We don't really have a lot of blue around our house but I found this glass paperweight in my daughter's room. It is a penguin with two smaller penguins within it. Somehow though, the big penguin looks more like a rather dopey rabbit to me. Anyway, its blue!

More Project Blue at Anna Carson Photography.

Price of Gas: June 5, 2008

Here's the price of gas in Crystal Lake, IL yesterday. Its up 2 cents from last week which was our recent "low" but it had been up to $4.15 per gallon again during the week and fallen back to $4.11. We're headed off to northern Wisconsin for a week's vacation starting tomorrow. It will be interesting to see gas prices up that way. I won't have internet access during the week but my plan is to catch some prices at the pump while we're away so I can share them after we get back. Meanwhile, I'm heading over to Rebecca's to check on what others are paying for their gas.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bad Weather

Remember I said the weather was ugly this morning and I wasn't going for a walk? Well, I did go out in the garage and open the overhead door to see what I could snap from the relative safety in there and this is what I got. When I looked at it on the little screen of my camera this morning, I thought it was just not much of anything but tonight, when I was downloading other pictures onto the computer, I thought it looked rather intriguing! So here it is, the weather in Crystal Lake, IL at 8 o'clock this morning! Those white spots are actually drops of rain!

15 Words or Less Poem

Silver mushrooms sprout
In unexpected places;
Like love
In an ordinary life.

More 15 Words or Less Poems here.

Project Blue: Take Five

Here's another blue "find" in a neighbor's yard from one of my early morning walks. It wasn't this morning though. The sky has been dark, we've had heavy rains and even a tornado watch already! Maybe there will be a walk in my day this afternoon but I'm not venturing out yet.

More Project Blue at Anna's place.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Project Blue: Take Four

This one's from the archives. It is probably five or six years old and I've been debating using it every day now. I think two of the three of us who wear shirts put blue ones on that day and the third succumbed to the pressure. Andy was the one doing the photography with a timed shot so he's anxiously watching the camera.

Project Blue hosted by Anna Carson Photography.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Project Blue: Take Three

I just got back from a morning walk during which I saw these lovely blue flowers in a neighbor's yard. I don't know what they are but I love the delicate perfection of them.

More Project Blue at Anna Carson Photography.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Project Blue: Take Two

Nothing's better when you're feeling blue than an nice hot cuppa!

More Project Blue photos Anna Carson Photography.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Project Blue: Take One

Blue boat, blue water and blue skies. This was vacation a few years ago and we are hoping for a repeat when we venture into northern Wisconsin next week. At least we have the blue boat part covered. The rest is in God's hands.

More Project Blue photos at Anna Carson Photography.

Sunday's Hymn: Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven,
To his feet thy tribute bring;
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like me, his praise should sing?
Praise him, praise him,
Praise him, praise him,
Praise the everlasting King.

Praise him for his grace and favor
To our fathers in distress;
Praise him still the same for ever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless;
Praise him, praise him,
Praise him, praise him,
Glorious in his faithfulness.

Father-like, he tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame he knows;
In his hands he gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes;
Praise him, praise him,
Praise him, praise him,
Widely as his mercy goes.

Angels, help us to adore him;
Ye behold him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before him,
Dwellers all in time and space.
Praise him, praise him,
Praise him, praise him,
Praise with us the God of grace.

Henry F. Lyte, 1834

More Sunday's Hymns here.

Update: I didn't realize when I posted this hymn that today is Henry Francis Lyte's 215th birthday! I learned that when I read C.W.S.'s post for this day at Conjubilant With Song, where another of Lyte's hymns is posted as well as a single verse from a third of his hymns.