Field Stone Cottage Blog

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Thirty

Its the last day of November already, the last day for sharing our thankful posts through Rebecca at her blog. But its not the last day to be thankful to the One who provides all of these abundant blessings, large and small. Every day is the day for that.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:15-16
My particular praise of thanksgiving to God today is for seeing Emily safely back to school. It has been snowing all afternoon here in Chicagoland and snowed steadily on her drive back to Ann Arbor, MI where she arrived safely just minutes ago. Thank you, Father!

Sunday's Hymn: What e'er My God Ordains is Right

Whate'er my God ordains is right:
Holy his will abideth;
I will be still whate'er he doth;
And follow where he guideth:
He is my God: though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall:
Wherefore to him I leave it all.

Whate'er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path;
I know he will not leave me:
I take, content, what he hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait his day.

Whate'er my God ordains is right:
Though now this cup, in drinking,
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it, all unshrinking:
My God is true; each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate'er my God ordains is right:
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet am I not forsaken;
My Father's care is round me there;
He holds me that I shall not fall:
And so to him I leave it all.

Samuel Rodigast, 1676
Translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1863
Tune: Gastorius by Severus Gastorius, 1675

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Nine

My thoughts today are on our extended family. We do not live geographically near any of them and some are no longer even on this earth but they are still ours. God ordained that Andy and I should be born into the families that we were and He has used these families to grow us and shape us as we mature in Him. And so I thank Him for our fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents. I love them, each and every one!

I also love this habit of consciously cultivating thanksgiving to God! What a way to glorify Him! Won't you join in by sharing your thankful thoughts at Rebecca Writes?

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Eight

I've been having such a wonderful Thanksgiving here that I've been only sneaking peaks to visit my blogging friends today so if I haven't stopped by your place, that's why and I'll be there soon. And yes, I'm extending the holiday into today! But it began with a wonderful time of fellowship the minute Kim and Tom, Jake and Sam walked into our home yesterday about 12:30 PM. Our daughter, Emily, was home from school too and she brought the wine and her homemade cranberry sauce to compliment the traditional meal. Kim's contribution was dessert; pumpkin and pecan pies and pumpkin cheesecake! (I do love anything pumpkin!) Its a true blessing to have friends with whom you can just relax and talk and the time just flies. That's how it is with our group. And I thank God for each one of them!

Today, Emily and I have spent the day together taking an elderly friend grocery shopping, enjoying tea with her and her husband, walking Charlie in the warm, 42 degree sunshine and visiting our local thrift shop before returning home for more tea. Emily is in school about five hours away from home so its a real treat when she is home and that is what I am most thankful for today...although my heart is just full of gratitude for so many blessings this evening. Our God is so good!

Rebecca is compiling our thankful posts each day of this month. I've been blessed by reading so many of your posts and realizing just how incredibly good our God really is. Not that I can fully ever know but I love the widening of my thankful horizons. So please go share your thankful thoughts so we can all celebrate His goodness together.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Seven

On this Thanksgiving Day, I am thanking our good and sovereign God for the gift of faith by His grace.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

I also thank Him for the overwhelmingly good gift of that faith to my family, Andy and Emily, as well. What a blessing to be a family of believers!

How are you thankful to God today? Please go share your thankful thoughts with us all at Rebecca Writes. No one should be alone on Thanksgiving...or in thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Six

Others have expressed their thankfulness for their blogging friends and now it is my turn. I've found such good friends through this world of blogging! I've been alternately encouraged and challenged and amused and educated by your posts and comments. And I thank God for each one of you! But I would be terribly remiss if I did not mention one particular friend who spans both my "real" world and my blogging world. She's the one who introduced me to the world of blogging and encouraged me to give it a try. So I am breaking my rule from yesterday and mentioning my dear friend, Kim, as a true blessing in my life.

Another of my blogging friends who has blessed me in so many ways is Rebecca. Uh-oh, I broke my rule twice now! Anyway, Rebecca is gathering our thankful posts each day this month so that we can celebrate the bounteous provisions of our good God together. Please go join in the thanksgiving at her place.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Five

I am ever so thankful for the blessing of friends in my life. I think I am going to skip mentioning any names today lest I forget any particular one. (I do seem to be getting more forgetful in this stage of my life.) But I will say that I have been blessed with some true friends over the years, the kind who will pray for my concerns and listen when I am feeling upset or sad and point me back to our God. Its humbling to have friends like that and I just pray that I have been able to minister to them similarly when needed.

What gift from God are you thanking Him for today? Please share your thankful thoughts at Rebecca's place so we can join together in thanksgiving. That's a blessing to all of us!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Four

I am thankful today for good neighbors. We, at the cottage, have been blessed with some very good neighbors. I've been thinking about that today because this week we are collecting the newspapers and mail for one of those neighbors. But those very same people mowed our lawn...unasked, I might add...the last time we were away for a week.

Our neighbors on the other side have helped me with blowing the snow out of the driveway when Andy has been away during the winter. In exchange, Andy helps with starting their generator for her when her husband is gone during our all too frequent power outages here.

Its a decided blessing to have friendly, helpful neighbors on both sides of us! Thank you, God!

How is He blessing you today? Please stop by Rebecca's and share those blessings so we can all praise the Giver of all good things together.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Three

I am thankful for the Lord's Day each week and our little church where we worship Him corporately and grow in love and truth as we do so.

And now I am off to Rebecca's to see what everyone else is thanking Him for today!

Sunday's Hymn: Now Thank We All Our God

Now thank we all our God
With heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things hath done,
In whom his world rejoices;
Who from our mothers' arms,
Hath blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love,
And still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God
Through all our life be near us
With ever joyful hearts
And blessed peace to cheer us;
And keep us in his grace,
And guide us when perplexed,
And free us from all ills
In this world and the next.

All praise and thanks to God,
The Father, now be given,
The Son, and him who reigns
With them in highest heaven,
The one eternal God
Whom earth and heav'n adore;
For thus it was, is now,
And shall be evermore.

Martin Rinkart, 1636
Tune: Nan Danket attributed to Johann Cruger, 1647. But Catherine Winkworth, who translated the hymn from German to English in 1856, believed that Martin Rinkart composed the tune in 1644.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Two

My thankfulness today is related to the fact that Andy is just about over a particularly nasty cold...and, Lord willing, I've escaped it! This cold was of the totally stuffy, very sore throat, coughing enough to keep one awake at night variety. And lost sleep is not what you want when you feel under the weather! Last night, Andy slept peacefully for the first time in over a week. As for me, several times during the last few days, I was sure I was succumbing to the thing. But today, after a morning headache, I feel just fine. I think its finally leaving the cottage without further ado. Thank you, God!

As Rebecca pointed out yesterday, so many of our thankful thoughts are of what we might call "small mercies" but these things are still important to thank our Sovereign God for. Go read what she wrote and add your mercies, small or large, to the list of things for us all to praise God for.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-One

Today has been the coldest day this fall so far. And its breezy too! Charlie and I got our walks in but, despite the sun, they were not so pleasant. I was ever so grateful to come home to our warm and cozy cottage so today I am thanking God for our boiler. What a blessing!

What gift from God are you enjoying today? Rebecca is keeping track each day this month so go share and let's give thanks for them together.

15 Words or Less Poem

The sharp fragrance of summer wood
evokes the warmth of winter.
Seasons out of step.

More 15 Words or Less Poems at Laura Salas Purdies' blog.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty

I am thankful today for God's prompting to call an elderly friend. She is an independent woman who finds it difficult to allow anyone to help her but it turns out that she and her husband have been been sick for the better part of the last week and they needed a few things at the store. Today was bitterly cold with snow flurries and traffic is always heavy in our part of Chicagoland. I am thankful that God allowed me to be available to take her to the store to get the things they needed...since she wouldn't allow me to just go get those things myself.

To see what others are thankful for and share how God has blessed you today, visit Rebecca. She is posting our thankful thoughts each day of this month and that has been a blessing to me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Nineteen

Reading Rebecca's thankful post for yesterday humbled me and made me realize just how much I take for granted the fact that I have my husband still in my life on this earth. So many of the day to day workings of our household are based on his knowledge of areas of living that I don't have a clue about. A very practical example is his knowledge of plumbing, electrical and mechanical things. Its not that we never have anything of that sort done around the house but Andy knows what he can do himself (given that he has a job too) and what we should hire done. Also he knows what is reasonable when a contractor tells us what he plans to do and how much it will cost. So I am very thankful today for a very capable husband. But I also know, as Rebecca is quick to point out, that our ultimate protection is in our heavenly Father, the One who gave me that husband.

This month, Rebecca is focusing on the theme of Thanksgiving. Each day, she invites us to share our thankful thoughts so we can celebrate the gifts that God has given us together. Join in the celebration at Rebecca Writes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Eighteen

Its cold out today but the sun is shining and there is not a cloud in the sky. Charlie and I just came back from a lovely walk! One of the reasons that I love walking with Charlie is the time that it gives me to think and pray. I do think and pray at home, of course, but there is something about being outside, away from the reminders of chores needing doing, just walking in God's creation that frees my mind. And the thing I was thinking about and thanking God for today is all the opportunities I've had to study His Word and grow in my relationship with Him. For that, I am so very grateful!

Rebecca is rounding up our thanksgiving thoughts each day during this month of November. Go share your thankful thoughts and see what others are thanking Him for today at Rebecca Writes. You'll be glad you did!

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Seventeen

This afternoon, I am so very thankful for a nap! I haven't slept very well the last couple of nights plus we've been pushing pretty hard to get the leaves finished in light of the weather so it was a wonderful thing to get in a nap to "take the edge off." Speaking of those leaves, I am also quite thankful to have them finished! Yes, there are a handful or so still left in the trees but we are declaring an end to leaf raking here at the cottage.

What is it you are thankful for today? Stop by Rebecca Writes and tell her about it so we can all join in giving thanks to God together.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Its Here!

We've had a few flurries before now but this is the first actual dusting of snow for the season. I took this picture out the back door tonight.

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Sixteen

I have a friend who works at our public library. Actually, I have three friends who work at the library but my friend, Julie, has worked in circulation for several years now and she lets me know when the library acquires a new item that she thinks we might like. For that, I am very grateful! Her latest pick for us is a television series called Due South that ran for four years somewhere. We don't have cable and are not TV watchers but I don't believe this was an American television show. Maybe its Canadian. Anyway, the premise involves a Canadian Mounty who ends up assigned to his country's embassy in Chicago and "unofficially" solves crimes with a Chicago city detective. Its funny and inoffensive. A hard combination to find these days, it seems. I've got the first season on DVD from the library and we've been enjoying it in the evenings, Andy and I, with our cups of tea. So today, I am thankful for Julie and her thoughtfulness and I am thankful for an entertaining show that we can enjoy together at the end of the day.

Rebecca has been collecting our thankful posts each day this month and its been fun to share what I am grateful for. I have so many blessings from God! Its been fun to read about everyone else's blessings too. To share your thankful thoughts today or see what others are thanking God for, visit Rebecca here.

Sunday's Hymn: The Church's One Foundation

The church's one Foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is his new creation
By water and the Word:
From heav'n he came and sought her
To be his holy bride;
With his own blood he bought her,
And for her life he died.

Elect from ev'ry nation,
Yet one o'er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food.
And to one hope she presses,
With ev'ry grace endued.

Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed,
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song.

The church shall never perish!
Her dear Lord to defend,
To guide, sustain and cherish
Is with her to the end;
Though there be those that hate her,
And false sons in her pale,
Against or foe or traitor
She ever shall prevail.

'Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace for evermore;
Till with the vision glorious
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great church victorious
Shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union
With the God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion
With those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them, the meek and lowly,
On high may dwell with thee.

Samuel J. Stone, 1866
Tune: Aurelia, by Samuel S. Wesley, 1864

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Fifteen

I am thanking God that today's weather was a bit warmer and with less precipitation than was forecast. Just yesterday, the weather people were predicting a high of 36 degrees with a 30 percent chance of snow flurries. We ended up with a high of 42 degrees and just the barest hint of a flurry or two. Our plan was to get out there and clean the gutters, put leaf mulch on the roses and other flower beds and finish raking whatever leaves we didn't use for the mulch. We were outside and working by 9:00 AM and didn't quit until 2:00 PM! So we are very thankful for the few extra degrees of warmth and the absence of measurable precipitation. And the chores? Well, Andy got the gutters cleaned and we got the roses all cocooned in their leaf mulch. The other flower beds are not quite as "mulchy" as we want and there are still a few more leaves on the ground. But its only the 15th so we are hoping for a few more days of relative warmth to finish tucking the yard in for the season.

Rebecca is posting our thankful thoughts each day of the month of November. Go visit her to contribute yours and see what others are thankful for.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Fourteen

I am a homebody. I love the days I get to stay home all day and clean or cook or even blog and not have to plan my day around a commitment or appointment somewhere. And today is one of those days! I get to stay home all day today! Never mind that I am doing laundry and cleaning the bathroom and pruning rosebushes and raking leaves. I am home so I am happy. Thank you, God, for a day to relish being home!

What are you thanking God for today? Rebecca is posting our thankful thoughts every day in the month of November. Go share with her so we can all thank God together. Thanksgiving is so much better when its shared.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Thirteen

Andy is sick today. He worked from home yesterday instead of his usual Tuesday and started feeling crummy during the day. This morning, he felt even worse. Nothing too serious. Just the beginnings of a miserable cold. So he emailed his boss to work from home again today.

Just about a year ago, Andy changed bosses. The previous boss was...not very nice. She would have demanded that Andy come in anyway. Actually, he wouldn't even have asked her, knowing her response. And she was his boss for seven years! Seven years of fervent prayer for patience and peace for Andy, for this boss to come to Christ, for whatever God's work was in that situation to be accomplished. But to Andy's credit, he never wavered in the conviction that God put him in the midst of it for a reason. Then suddenly, very suddenly, He took that boss out of Andy's life and put him under Bruce. Now, I do sincerely thank God for the ways that we both grew in trusting Him during the rough times under the previous boss but today I am thanking God that Andy has a boss who treats him fairly and with respect and consideration.

Each day this month, Rebecca is gathering our posts on the ways that God is blessing us. To view others' thankful thoughts or to contribute your own, visit Rebecca Writes.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twelve

I am so thankful for Charlie's vet! Over the years, he's become downright panicky about visiting the vet's office. And with good reason! From his point of view, bad things happen there. But Dr. Sharon has been so kind to Charlie even when he taxes that kindness to its limit. And she has given him the best of care. Today we had to see Dr. Sharon for three reasons...Charlie needed bladder X-rays to make sure no new stones were growing there, chest X-rays to check on his heart condition, and the removal of a wart that continued to ooze blood no matter what we've done to try to heal it. Normally, that wart would have been removed under general anesthesia but, because of Charlie's heart condition, it was done with a local. And he had to be muzzled. Not a happy camper. But Dr. Sharon got down to business and all was accomplished quickly and efficiently. The X-rays look good and the wart is gone! Praise God for good veterinary care for my sweet Charlie!

Visit Rebecca Writes to see what everyone else is thankful for today. While you are there, tell us what blessings God has given to you today. The praise we give Him is meant to be shared.

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Eleven

My thankful thoughts today are turning towards tea. I do love tea! I love it when I am cold. I love it when I am thirsty. I love it when I am upset or tired or needing to think about something. But most of all, I love drinking tea with a friend...and my very best friend is Andy! Thank God he likes tea too! Although, he does drink coffee. I don't. I am quite allergic to that beverage. So while some of you may thank God for coffee, I am thanking Him for the tea plant. And its real tea that I love. None of those infusions of flowers or fruits or herbs, thank you very much. Nice strong, hot black tea. Earl Grey or Irish Breakfast or Assam with a little bit of milk in it. That's my cup of tea!

So what lovely gift from God are you thanking Him for today? Rebecca (and I) want to know. So go visit Rebecca Writes and share how we can thank Him for something special He's done for you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Ten

Its Monday and Andy has gone back to work after the weekend. I am so thankful that he has a job to go to this morning! And its a good job that very adequately meets our needs. With good benefits too! We've been through some periods of unemployment for Andy and God still met our needs during those times. But today I am thanking Him for good, steady employment for Andy.

What gift from God are you thanking Him for today? Each day this month, Rebecca is collecting our thankful posts so that we can share together in thanking Him for His blessings to us. Visit her at Rebecca Writes.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Nine

Today in Sunday School, we discussed the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. Here are a couple of the passages of Scripture that we looked at.

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand." John 10:27-29

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
7No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:33-39

These passages bring such joy to me! I am so thankful for the promise of my perseverance with Christ contained in them!

Each day throughout the month of November, Rebecca is gathering our thankful thoughts. Drop by at Rebecca Writes to share your thoughts and join in giving thanks to God for His many blessings.

Sunday's Hymn: Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages, cleft for me
Let me hide myself in thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and pow'r.

Not the labors of my hands
Can fulfil thy law's demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears for ever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to thee for dress,
Helpless, look to thee for grace;
Foul, I to the Fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyelids close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee.

Augustus M. Toplady, 1776
St. 4, line 2, alt. by Thomas Cotterill, 1815
Tune: Ajalon, Richard Redhead, 1853

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Eight

We've enjoyed a cold day with a mix of rain and snow that prevented us from raking leaves here at the cottage. And we didn't even have to feel guilty for not raking! Now that is something to be thankful for, don't you think!? I know Kim agrees!

Rebecca is collecting our thankful posts each day this month. Visit her at Rebecca Writes to see what everyone is thankful for today. While you are there, share your grateful thoughts too. Thanksgiving is one of those things that is better when its shared.

Friday, November 7, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Seven

Its Friday! And that means tonight is Friday evening! I do love Friday evenings, don't you? The promise of a whole weekend is ahead! Two whole days of being with Andy! Thinking of what we can accomplish together this weekend, yes, but mostly its just the being together that I savor. Tonight supper will be more leisurely and we can linger over our cups of tea and talk about things that happened during the week and what we thought about them, and then plan our day tomorrow...Lord willing.

So today I am thankful for Friday evenings and weekends but mostly I am thankful for spending them with Andy. I do thank God for the blessing of this loving husband to share my life with.

What are you thankful for? Let Rebecca know! She is posting our thankful thoughts each day this month so that we can reflect on God's blessings together. Please join us.

Looking Forward

This afternoon is rainy and dreary but this morning we still had a few glimpses of lovely sunshine. I caught some morning rays on these red and yellow leaves of the dogwood tree at the east corner of the cottage. Most of the leaves are down now in these parts and, even as I type, there are fewer on this particular tree than there were this morning. Fall is blowing away and there is snow in the forecast for tonight. But who's complaining? Not me! Time to look forward to flannel p.j.'s and hot chocolate!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Six

My sister, Mary, and I just finished doing our Bible study together. The study of the life of Moses that I am doing this year provides a short set of questions that participants can use to share the content with their families. I am sharing my study with Mary and it has been such a blessing to both of us! Mary lives in Portland, OR and, as most of you know, I live in Crystal Lake, IL so we do our study via the internet and the phone. I send her the questions via the internet and then we read the Bible passages together and discuss our answers on the phone. We both look forward to our time together on Thursday afternoons!

So today, I am thankful for cheap phone rates and the internet. But most of all I am thankful for Mary. I am thankful that God gave her to me as my sister. I am thankful for the loving relationship that we share. And I am thankful that we can spend time together studying God's Word and growing closer through Him.

Every day this month, Rebecca is posting our thankful thoughts so that we can all rejoice in them together. To join us in the thanksgiving, visit Rebecca here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Five

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. Romans 13:1-2

This is God's command regarding the authorities that He, in His sovereignty, places over us. And so I submit. But I do so prayerfully, as directed in this passage from Philipians 4:6-7.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

And so today I am thankful for God's promise of peace. The peace of God, no less! How could I not be thankful for that!?

To see what others are thankful for today, visit Rebecca who is gathering our thankful thoughts each day for the month of November.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thank You, Brian

I'm a winner! Brian, of Light and Heat, is one of those generous bloggers who runs a book giveaway each month and guess who won this time. Yes! Me! The book for October was A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God's Love by Milton Vincent and Brian is putting it in the mail for me! I am very much looking forward to reading it!

You can check out Brian's book giveaway for November here. But don't stop there. Brian has some really good content on his blog so look around a bit while you're at his place. I promise its worth your time.

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Four

Like so very many others, today I am thankful for God's sovereignty. Andy and I just came back from voting. We prayerfully made our choices at the polling station but we are so grateful that the One who really rules our country never changes. He is not subject to re-election every four years. He does not campaign for our votes. He does not depend on the whims of man for His sovereignty over all. And no matter what happens tonight when the ballots are counted, He will reign over us as He always has, using the men He has chosen to place in earthly authority over us for His sovereign purposes in our lives.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Rebecca is collecting our thankful thoughts each day of this month at Rebecca Writes. Go see what others are thankful for and perhaps share a thankful thought of your own.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Three

Charlie and I just got back from a walk and, let me tell you, it is a glorious day outside in Crystal Lake! The forecasted high is 73 degrees F but right now it is 65 lovely, sunny degrees with a slight breeze. Perfect! So today (as if you can't guess) I am thankful for an unexpectedly warm Fall day full of the wonderful colors of God's creation. And I am thankful for my little canine companion, Charlie, to share it with. I am so very thankful for his relative good health that permits him to still enjoy nice, long walks despite his status as a senior citizen.

What about you? What are you thankful for today? Rebecca wants to know (and so do I)! So share your thankful thoughts at Rebecca Writes and let's rejoice together in how God is blessing us each day of this month.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Two

Today was Reformation Sunday at our church and we sang two hymns written by Martin Luther...A Mighty Fortress is Our God and Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands. The second hymn was one I was completely unfamiliar with but the words as we sang it so strongly brought to mind all we have to be thankful for as God's adopted children. That third verse in particular painted such a vivid image of Jesus as the Passover lamb slain for us! And you know that Passover has been on my mind a lot lately! So today I am thankful for Martin Luther as a hymn writer (aside from his gifts to us as reformer) along with so many others that have gone before us to record the tenets of our faith in such beautiful words that clearly convey the depth of meaning of what has been done for us through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

I am doing a post each day of November focusing on something for which I am thankful, as are several other bloggers. Rebecca is compiling these posts at Rebecca Writes. Visit her to get the links or contribute thankful thoughts of your own!

Sunday's Hymn: Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands

Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands,
For our offenses given;
But now at God's right hand he stands
And brings us life from heaven;
Therefore let us joyful be
And sing to God right thankfully
Loud songs of hallelujah. Hallelujah!

It was a strange and dreadful strife
When life and death contended;
The victory remained with life,
The reign of death was ended;
Holy Scripture plainly saith
That death is swallowed up by death,
His sting is lost for ever. Hallelujah!

Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
Whom God so freely gave us;
He died on the accursed tree—
So strong his love!—to save us.
See, his blood doth mark our door;
Faith points to it, death passes o'er,
And Satan cannot harm us. Hallelujah!

So let us keep the festival
Whereto the Lord invites us;
Christ is himself the Joy of all,
The Sun that warms and lights us.
By his grace he doth impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin is ended. Hallelujah!

Then let us feast this joyful day
On Christ, the Bread of heaven;
The Word of grace hath purged away
The old and evil leaven.
Christ alone our souls will feed,
He is our meat and drink indeed;
Faith lives upon no other. Hallelujah!

Martin Luther, 1524, translated by Richard Massie, 1854
Tune: Christ Lag in Tod­es­band­en, Geist­liche Ge­sang­büch­lein, 1524; ar­ranged by Johann S. Bach, 1724

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Month of Thankfulness

I am starting my month of thankfulness posts with thanking God for the health and strength to do yard work. Andy and I have been raking leaves and dividing hostas this afternoon and its a blessing to be able to do it.

Now, there is a slight lull in our day and then we'll be setting off on a Charlie walk. That all three of us can enjoy God's creation together in that way is another reason to thank Him.

Rebecca is compiling all of our reasons to thank God this month. Won't you join us by sharing your reasons for thankfulness in November?