Field Stone Cottage Blog

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, thou Lord of might,
Who to thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.

O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny;
From depths of hell thy people save,
And give them victory o'er the grave.

O come, thou Dayspring from on high
And cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.

O come, thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heav'nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

Combined from various Latin antiphons, probably in the 12th Century
Translated from Latin to English by John Mason Neale, 1851

Tune: Veni Emmanuel, an ancient plain song, 13th Century
Adapted by Thomas Helmore, 1856

Thursday, December 25, 2008

And They Laid Him in a Manger

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty
will accomplish this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Evening's Approach

Its been snowing steadily all day here at the cottage. I'd say we most certainly got the 2-4 inches of new snow that was forecast. Maybe more.

Now, we are of the sort that closes their blinds as the sun goes down and I was doing just that a few moments ago and glanced out the window to this view of our neighbor's house. I wasn't about to get my jacket and gloves and hat and boots on to go out and snap the picture but I don't think this one through the window glass is half bad! In fact, I rather like it!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: Good Christian Men, Rejoice

Good Christian men, rejoice,
With heart, and soul, and voice;
Give ye heed to what we say:
Jesus Christ is born today;
Earth and heav'n before him bow,
And he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today!

Good Christian men, rejoice,
With heart, and soul, and voice;
Now ye hear of endless bliss:
Jesus Christ was born for this!
He hath op'ed the heavenly door,
And man is blessed evermore.
Christ was born for this!

Good Christian men, rejoice,
With heart, and soul, and voice;
Now ye need not fear the grave:
Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all
To gain his everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save!

Heinrich Suso (?-1366)
Translated from Latin to English by John Mason Neale, 1853

Tune: In Dulci Jubilo, a Fourteenth Century German Melody
Harmony from Christmas Carols Old and New, 1871

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another Storm

We did get a fairly major snow storm yesterday (about a foot is my estimate) and while some people blogged about it as it was happening, I was too busy enjoying the cozy day inside with Emily. Here's the jigsaw puzzle we did together and it was fun!

I did venture out with Charlie and to get the mail and snapped this one while I was out there. Snow makes everything look so magical!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More Red Berries

So far, this December is feeling like one snow clean-up after another without much of a break between them. Its reminding me of the constant chore of snow removal during our winters in Upstate New York. Yesterday, it started snowing in Crystal Lake, IL sometime around 1PM and it didn't stop until about 8:30 PM. The total is only about 3-4 inches. Paltry, by New York standards but conditions were very slippery and the evening commute was nightmarish. It took Andy almost 4 hours to get home! His normal evening commute is about an hour and 15 minutes. You can bet Andy was glad to get here and I was so thankful for God's protection of him!

The morning today dawned quite lovely and sunny with the beauty that only fresh snows brings. I guess I am just seeing and enjoying those red berries in the white snow everywhere this year. This bush lacks the green leaves that the one in our yard sports in the winter but the berries are bigger. I love the blue of the sky behind them.

Homemade Truffles

Emily came home today for her Christmas vacation from school. And look what she brought! Homemade truffles! Oh boy, were we glad to welcome her home!

Seriously, we are glad to have her home for many more (and better) reasons than homemade truffles. Still this recipe is a winner so I am sharing it with all of you.

Cookie Dough Truffles

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups flour
1 (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 pounds semi-sweet chocolate candy coating

  1. In mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Add flour, milk and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.
  4. Shape into 1 inch balls and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets.
  5. Loosely cover and refrigerate until firm. (Approximately 1 hour)
  6. In a microwave safe bowl, melt candy coating, stirring often, until smooth.
  7. Dip balls in coating and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets.
  8. Refrigerate until firm. (About 15 minutes)
  9. Store in refrigerator.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday's Hymn: Comfort, Comfort Ye My People

Comfort, comfort ye my people,
Speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
Comfort those who sit in darkness,
Mourning 'neath their sorrow's load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell her that her sins I cover,
And her warfare now is over.

Yea, her sins our God will pardon,
Blotting out each dark misdeed;
All that well deserved his anger
He no more will see or heed.
She hath suffered many a day
Now her griefs have passed away;
God will change her pining sadness
Into ever-springing gladness.

For the herald's voice is crying
In the desert far and near,
Bidding all men to repentance,
Since the kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
Let the valleys rise to meet him,
And the hills bow down to greet him.

Make ye straight what long was crooked,
Make the rougher places plain;
Let your hearts be true and humble,
As befits his holy reign.
For the glory of the Lord
Now o'er earth is shed abroad;
And all flesh shall see the token,
That his word is never broken.

Johannes Olearius, 1671
Translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1863
Tune: Thirsting by Louis Bourgeois, 1551
Harmony adapted from Dutch Koraalboek of B. DeVries by Henry A. Bruinsma

Friday, December 12, 2008

Full Moon

There was a full moon last night and Andy snapped this picture from in front of the garage door.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

15 Words or Less Poem

Balanced beauty on blades,
Above the surface.

For more 15 Words or Less Poems (or to contribute one of your own), visit Laura Purdie Salas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Here are the answers to the "5, 56 Book Meme":

1. The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Approach by Sinclair Ferguson

2. The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
Taking this one off the shelf, I felt the intense desire to read it again. John guessed it correctly.

3. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Mongomery

4. Practical Religion by J.C. Ryle
Not much of a clue in that sentence but rules are rules!

5. Persuasion by Jane Austen

6. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer
The sentence was very Packer-ish, wasn't it, Rebecca!

7. Reason to Believe by R.C. Sproul

8. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I do love Little Women! And it was through it that I was introduced to Pilgrim's Progress as a young girl.

10. 1776 by David McCullough
I love history although I don't own a lot of it for some reason. Its a category I tend to borrow from the library. This book was a rummage sale find. Oh, and David McCullough is the other author who was born in Pittsburgh, PA.

I've really enjoyed this meme, both doing it myself and playing along with others. Thanks for the tag, Rebecca. I am hoping its not over!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I've been tagged by Rebecca for this unusual book meme. Its got some very interesting guidelines!

Take ten books and transcribe the fifth sentence from page 56.

In keeping with the 5,56 thing, make sure that at least five books are fiction. provide five hints, and pass the meme on to six other bloggers.

Here are the ten fifth sentences:

  1. 1. When Jesus tells him that he needs to be born from above, only faintly understanding the meaning, he lamely asks whether another birth is possible.
  2. 2. Then they shewed him the Ox's Goad, wherewith Shamgar slew Six Hundred men.
  3. 3. "...She looks lonely and sad, don't you think?..."
  4. 4. Believe me, it is no light matter.
  5. 5. To be sure I may just as well go as not, for I am no use at home-am I? and it only harasses me.
  6. 6. In the third place, it needs to be said that a meeting, or service, is not necessarily evangelistic just because it includes testimonies, and choruses, and an appeal, any more than a man is necessarily English because he wears striped trousers and a bowler hat.
  7. 7. As we talked, he came to realize that what he really believed was that people could do their own thing as long as their own thing did not impinge on his thing.
  8. 8. "Did she," said Gwendolyn, laughingly.
  9. 9. For the first time in her life she had been struck, and the disgrace, in her eyes, was as deep as if he had knocked her down.
  10. 10. On October 18, a raw, gloomy Wednesday, a congressional committee of three, including Benjamin Franklin, gathered by a roaring fire in Washington's study and, after lengthy deliberations with the commander and his generals, concluded that if an attack on Boston meant the destruction of the town, they could not approve.
Here are the five hints:

  1. 1. (For sentence #8) This female author published under a male pseudonym.
  2. 2. (For sentence #9) This book is a contender for my very favorite novel of all time.
  3. 3. (For sentence #6) This well-known author lives in Canada and this particular book is one that I refer to frequently.
  4. 4. (For sentence #3) I'd be very surprised if Islandsparrow doesn't have this book memorized, cover to cover!
  5. 5. (For sentence #7) This author is one of two which I've quoted here that was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Now for the tagging:

Have fun! I did!

Sunday's Hymn: The Lord is My Shepherd

The Lord’s my Shepherd, I’ll not want.
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; He leadeth me
The quiet waters by.

My soul He doth restore again;
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
Even for His own Name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk in death’s dark vale,
Yet will I fear no ill;
For Thou art with me; and Thy rod
And staff my comfort still.

My table Thou hast furnish├Ęd
In presence of my foes;
My head Thou dost with oil anoint,
And my cup overflows.

Goodness and mercy all my life
Shall surely follow me;
And in God’s house forevermore
My dwelling place shall be.

Paraphrase of Psalm 23 from the Scottish Psalter, 1650

Tune: Crimond, Jessie S. Irvine, 1872

Thursday, December 4, 2008

15 Words or Less Poem

Work time, vacation time
Waiting time, celebration time.
Who says all hours have sixty minutes?

To see more 15 Words or Less Poems or contribute one of your own, visit Laura Purdie Salas.

Advent Thoughts

We've just completed Exodus chapters 25-31 this week in my study of the life of Moses. These chapters outline the pattern for the tabernacle which God gives to Moses during their 40 day meeting on Mt. Sinai. Such an appropriate lesson for the beginning of advent! After telling the Israelites what offerings are required, God says in verse 8 of chapter 25 "Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them." Immanuel. God with us.

Just as Moses is a type of Christ, so the entire plan of the tabernacle serves to foreshadow Him. The very word tabernacle means a dwelling of sorts but it is between the wings of the cherubim above the cover of the ark of the covenant specifically that God was understood to dwell.

The ark was a chest built to God's specifications to hold the tablets of the law. (Later, it also housed the jar of manna and Aaron's staff which budded. Hebrews 9:4) The cover of the ark of the covenant is called the atonement cover in the NIV but in other translations it is called the mercy seat. On the Day of Atonement, once a year, the high priest would sprinkle the blood of the animal sacrificed as a sin offering for the people on this cover and call on God for His mercy for them. As God looked down, He saw the blood of the sacrificed animal between Himself and His law which had been broken by His people. Here is a picture of God's judgment and the intercession of Christ through His shed blood giving forgiveness and righteousness to believers.

You may think I've strayed a bit from the topic of advent but the very word advent signifies a period of coming into being. So we are in the season of Christ's birth "coming into being." But there is a sense in which all time from eternity past, certainly from the point of view of what is recorded in the Old Testament of God's Word, is a season of preparation for Christ's coming, the period during which He would "dwell among us" in human flesh.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Good Listening

Andy has a fairly long commute to work so he is always on the look-out for good audio books to listen to. Christianaudio has been a great resource for him and he eagerly looks forward to their free download each month. This month it is 90 Days of Morning and Evening by C.H. Spurgeon narrated by James Adams. Sounds like a winner to me!

Winter Beauty

There is so much beauty outside the cottage today after yesterday's snow! This little tree grows in our backyard and keeps its green leaves and red berries well into the winter weather. I don't know what its name is but that doesn't keep me from enjoying it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Real Snow

We got our first "real snow" of the 2008-09 winter yesterday and it kept on snowing right into today. Flurries, some of the time, but that counts for snow too. We've had a couple of other episodes of flurries this season and one snow that turned the ground white but it was gone by the next morning. This few inches promises to stay for most of this week, if the forecasters are right. But it looks awfully pretty on our neighbor's magnolia tree, don't you think?