Field Stone Cottage Blog

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: Joy to the World!

Joy to the world! the Lord is come:
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing.

Joy to the earth! the Saviour reigns:
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains
Repeat the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of his righteousness,
And wonders of his love.

Isaac Watts, 1719
Tune: Antioch C.M., Lowell Mason, 1836
Based on George Frederick Handel, 1742

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Its the day after Christmas...

...and its been snowing pretty much all day here in Chicagoland! This is the view out the front door of the cottage now as Andy works on snow removal.

The light on the other side of the house outside the screen porch doesn't have quite as much evening to it but I love how that little tree looks draped in snow.

How's the weather in your part of the world this 26th of December?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

May the light of Christ our Saviour shine brightly in your life this Christmas Day.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Seven Vegetable Soup

We enjoyed a lovely dinner with a dear friend and her husband Saturday evening and on the menu was this delicious vegetable soup, a new recipe for me, one shared by our daughter, Emily. Its so much fun sharing recipes and cooking ideas with her...especially when they turn out this good!

1 quart chicken stock
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz.)
1 can tomato sauce
2 cups 1/2 inch potato cubes
2 medium carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 package frozen creamed spinach (10 oz.), thawed
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

This is a slow cooker recipe and the directions say to combine all ingredients except the spinach and cheese in the slow cooker, cover and cook for 8-10 hours on low until the potatoes and carrots are tender. My slow cooker never really got the potatoes and carrots tender, not even on high. So I ended up transferring the soup to a stock pot to cook on the stove. Either way, once those potatoes and carrots are tender, increase the heat to high and stir in the thawed creamed spinach. Cook another 6-10 minutes until the soup is slightly thickened. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

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!

Medieval Latin
Translated by John Mason Neale, 1853
Tune: In Duldi Jubilo, 14th century melody, har. by W.D., 1918

Thursday, December 17, 2009

15 Words or Less Poem

Chocolate soldiers march in perfect rows
Except me
Third row, fourth back
Always slightly askew.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: Lift Up Your Heads,Ye Mighty Gates

Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates!
Behold, the King of glory waits;
The King of kings is drawing near,
The Saviour of the world is here.
Life and salvation he doth bring,
Wherefore rejoice and gladly sing:
We praise thee, Father, now,
Creator, wise art thou!

A Helper just he comes to thee,
His chariot is humility,
His kingly crown is holiness,
His scepter, pity in distress.
The end of all our woe he brings;
Wherefore the earth is glad and sings:
We praise thee, Saviour, now,
Mighty in deed art thou!

O blest the land, the city blest,
Where Christ the Ruler is confessed!
O happy hearts and happy homes
To whom this King in triumph comes!
The cloudless sun of joy he is,
Who bringeth pure delight and bliss.
We praise thee, Spirit, now,
Our Comforter art thou!

Georg Weissel, 1642
Translated by Catherine Winkworth, 1855
Tune: Macht Hoch Die Tur, Johann A. Freylinghausen, 1704

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Morning After

I love the way my part of the world looks the morning after a snowstorm! And the best view in the morning is from our upstairs bathroom window. Its something about the way the sun strikes the snow-covered branches and the play of light and shadow it creates. The beauty outside that window makes up for the shock of looking at the outdoor thermometer on the dresser and seeing that its -1.3 degrees F. out there! And windy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Our first serious snow storm of the season hit yesterday and continued overnight. More snow is expected today but there was a lull when I took Charlie out early this morning.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

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.

Latin antiphone, 12th century, Latin hymn, 1710
Translated by John Mason Neale, 1851
Tune: Veni Emmanuel, Ancient plain song, 13th century
Adapted by Thomas Helmore, 1856

Monday, November 30, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Thirty-Part 2

I am thankful for Rebecca and for her invitation to join in the festival of thanksgiving each day of this month. I made the easy decision to participate. I've participated before and am never at a loss of things to thank God for! But I confess that I never would have posted what I have regarding my recent thyroid cancer episode had I not made that commitment. I would have considered it too personal and you just would not have heard from me while I went through it.

However, God had other plans, plans that I am so thankful for! Sharing the ways He has blessed me throughout this time has multiplied the blessings for me! And, I hope, the glory for Him!

And the response of God's people! Your comments and assurances of prayer as well as the responses and prayers of my real life friends and family, that love and caring, have given me such a depth of understanding of the church universal, far beyond my own loving church family.

What would have been a lonely, albeit blessed, month has turned into a month of wonder and praise far beyond what I could have imagined. I humbly and sincerely thank my God.

I will praise God's name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving.~Psalm 69:30

Now please go share your last minute thanks too. There is so much more blessing in shared thanksgiving! Here's the link to Rebecca Writes.

A Month of Thanksgiving: Day Thirty-Part 1

This morning as I stood packing Andy's lunch for work I couldn't help thinking of how thankful I am for my ordinary life. This day ahead of me could have looked very different. I could have been fasting in preparation for my radioactive iodine treatment. I would not have been packing my husband's lunch because he would have been getting ready to take me to Nuclear Medicine at the hospital. My good friends, Kim and Carol, would have been preparing food to bring to my family for the next few days since I would have been unsafe to handle food for others. I would have prepared the sofa sleeper since I would have been unsafe to sleep with my husband...and Charlie. And Charlie! As Kim mentioned yesterday at church, Charlie would have been in for a rough week! Andy will tell you that he's a mama's boy and anybody who knows us very well knows that to be very true. In fact, he's pretty much glued to me as much as possible. And I would have had to stay separate from him for his own safety. That would have broken his heart...and mine!

But God in His mercy intervened for all of us.

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.~Jeremiah 29:11

Now, that would have been just as true had I been on my way for the Iodine-131 treatment...but I am so thankful to Him that I'm not.

Share your thanksgiving and bless us all at Rebecca Writes. Today is the last day! But I'm cheating and posting one more this afternoon. I don't think Rebecca will mind!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Nine

Yesterday was a lovely warmish day here at the cottage and Andy graciously blew and raked the few leaves that had accumulated on the lawn since the major leaf raking project up around the roses to finish tucking them in for the winter. He also got out the snow shovels and moved the snow blower into position for whatever comes our way. As we left for church this morning, there was a cold, damp rain falling but those roses looked so cozy in their leaf cocoons and it was a good feeling to know that we are as ready as they are for the impending winter. And I look forward to winter! I like that feeling of coziness, that feeling of rest that comes in knowing that I can't really do much in the way of work outside (except snow removal, of course). All I can do is enjoy the beauty of it. As I will enjoy the spring when it comes. And summer and fall. So today I am thanking God for the seasonal changes He gives us in this part of the country. I love them all, each in their own way!

Only today and tomorrow are left to share your thankful thoughts at Rebecca's. Please join in.

Sunday's Hymn: Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus

Come, thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in thee.
Israel's strength and consolation,
Hope of all the earth thou art;
Dear Desire of ev'ry nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,
Born a child, and yet a King,
Born to reign in us for ever,
Now thy gracious kingdom bring.
By thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By thine all-sufficient merit
Raise us to thy glorious throne.

Charles Wesley, 1744
Tune: Hyfrydol, Rowland Hugh Prichard, 1855

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Eight

This morning I woke up and took my synthroid at 5 AM thinking how very grateful I am for that little purple pill! And the blood work I've had over the past few weeks as well as the total body thyroid scan! And the access I have to a very competent endocrinologist! It wasn't always that way for people in my medical circumstances and it still isn't for some in other parts of the world...or even this country! Many people with similar problems have just suffered not feeling very well for much of their lives and died much younger than they would have had they had the blessings that I do. God forbid that I should take those medical blessings for granted!

Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.~Psalm 2:12b

We're getting close to the end of November but not nearly close to the end of the blessings of the Lord on His people! Please share yours over at Rebecca Writes.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Seven

Wow!!! Do I have some words of praise and thanksgiving to share with you all today! Upon returning home from a low iodine grocery shopping trip with Emily, there was a message on the answering machine to call my doctor. He says that my total body thyroid scan shows only minimal regrowth of thyroid tissue and my thyroglobulin panel (the tumor marker blood test) that I had repeated on Monday is perfect and within the normal range!! An iodine 131 treatment is not recommended at this time!!! I am still absorbing the news! God is so gracious!! Can you believe it!

With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.
~Psalm 60:12

So I can eat all the iodine I want and start taking my synthroid again today. It will take some time to get back to normal thyroid function levels but I'm on my way. Thank you, God, for the gracious victory over this enemy.

What cause for thanksgiving has God given you today? Please share over at Rebecca's.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Hymn of Thanksgiving

We plough the fields, and scatter
The good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered
By God's almighty hand;
He sends the snow in winter,
The warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine,
And soft refreshing rain.

All good gifts around us
Are sent from heav'n above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
For all his love.

He only is the Maker
Of all things near and far;
He paints the wayside flower,
He lights the evening star;
The winds and waves obey him,
By him the birds are fed;
Much more to us, his children,
He gives our daily bread.

We thank thee, then, O Father,
For all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest,
Our life, our health, our food:
No gifts have we to offer
For all thy love imparts,
But that which thou desirest,
Our humble, thankful hearts.

Matthias Claudius, 1782
Translated by Jane M. Campbell, 1861
Tune: Wir Pflugen, Johann A. P. Schulz, 1800

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Six

Its Thanksgiving Day! My very favorite holiday of the year! I awoke early to see a light, lovely snow covering everything, the first snow of the season, and felt a surge of appreciation for its beauty and the fact that it came today!

In many ways, its not a typical Thanksgiving at the cottage this year. I'm not up to fixing the usual Thanksgiving feast and couldn't eat most of the traditional foods on my low iodine diet anyway. Not all of the Thanksgiving decorations ever made it out. And I'll be taking my naps to make it through the day.

But some things are the same. Its been a long time since we lived close to extended family so its customary for Andy and Emily and me (and of course, Charlie) to be together. Sometimes we've enjoyed the festivities with others but the three of us is a constant. The other constant is the turning of our thoughts to God in thanksgiving for His more than abundant provisions for us the past year...and always.

From the fullness of His grace we have received one blessing after another.~John 1:16

This day my particular thanksgiving to God is for that blessing of togetherness that the four of us share in our warm little cottage on a damp and cold Thanksgiving as the early snow melts and we play a game or two anticipating our very untraditional meal of pork roast and potatoes.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Now let's all share in the rejoicing at Rebecca Writes!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Five

I'm feeling the most hypothyroid I've felt this day. Just totally wiped out! So I'm very thankful that I didn't have to go out anywhere. In fact, I allowed myself the luxury of not even getting dressed. I'm still hanging out in my pj's, intermittently napping, thankful too that Emily fixed dinner, and resting in this promise:

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.~Isaiah 26:3

My mind has been rather scattered lately but it is steadfast enough to know where to place my trust! And that's another reason to give thanks.

How about you? Please share your reasons to give thanks over at Rebecca Writes.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Four

What a difference a day can make! Yesterday, I was uncertain and upset about how things were unfolding regarding the scan for my thyroid cancer. I went to bed just trusting in God's sovereignty and His power in my weakness. This morning, I had the scan and God met me in my need in a powerful way! First, I had the kindest, most caring technician attend to me at the Nuclear Medicine lab. She positioned me on a warm blanket on the bed of the scan machine, wrapping me in it as she brought it together in front of me, fastening it to keep my arms close to my sides. The image of being wrapped in God's Everlasting Arms sprung to my mind! Then she told me to call her if I became uncomfortable, that she would rather have to restart the scan than have me lay there, still but in discomfort, for the next hour. And so the the scan began and I started praying, thanking God for His sovereign, enveloping arms and His strength and power in my weakness. I thanked Him for His provision of that compassionate young technician. Then I thanked Him for my family and my dear church family and many other brothers and sisters in Christ that I knew were praying for me. I thanked Him for each one of you, my dear bloggy sisters, in the overwhelming knowledge that I had people all across this country and even a couple in Canada praying for me! Peace and comfort descended upon me! I am so richly blessed! What had been an ordeal turned into a precious time of intimate fellowship with my God through the Holy Spirit. I am humbled with the wonder of it and so very, very thankful tonight.

The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.~Phil. 4:5b-7

Please share in the thanksgiving at Rebecca Writes. Its a blessing to us all!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Three

This morning I had the preparatory dose of the radioactive iodine for my total body thyroid scan tomorrow. There have been some changes is medical protocol for the tests and treatment of thyroid cancer since my last re-occurrence of it and frankly, some of them have caught me off guard. I was reading an article about thyroid cancer on-line just a little while ago and the thyroid expert mentioned that no one who is hypothyroid, as I am in preparation for these procedures, should be driving. We should consider ourselves impaired as are people who are "driving under the influence." The other times I went through this, I drove...and did many other things...without even thinking about it. Yes, I was tired but it needed to be done. This time, I just can't seem to do that. I feel impaired regarding more than just driving!

Back to the changes in medical protocol and how they caught me off guard. Decisions were made that I feel less certain of this time. But my faith and reliance on God in His sovereignty is stronger this time. So this afternoon of tiredness and uncertainty, I am very thankful for Christ's all-sufficient grace and power.

But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Praise God for His blessings over at Rebecca's today and each day of this month of Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-Two

Others have said it, but today is my turn to say how thankful I am for good, solid exegetical preaching! And the Lord's Supper!

Visit Rebecca to see what others are thanking our Good God for this Lord's Day.

Sunday's Hymn: Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Elisha A. Hoffman, 1839-1929
Tune by A. J. Showalter

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty-One

Right at the top of my list of things to be thankful for today is...the color pink. Its my favorite color! There's nothing like pink flowers to make me feel like least on the inside. I love the pink in the sky in the morning for its expression of hope. And wearing pink always makes me feel better when I'm having a down day. I'm not having a down day today but I am wearing pink. Just because I can and I want to. Maybe I'll even wear another shade of it tomorrow. So thank you, God, for the color pink. Sometimes its just the little things.

Now let's head over to Rebecca's to see what everyone else is thanking God for today!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twenty

The hoops have been jumped through and I am set for my total body thyroid scan next Monday and Tuesday, the 23rd and 24th. Monday, I go to the hospital to swallow a small amount of Iodine 131 which the remaining thyroid tissue in my body absorbs and then on Tuesday, I am scanned to see where and how much there is. A couple of additional thyroid blood tests and the results of the scan determine when and how much of the radioactive Iodine 131 is given to me to (theoretically) destroy the remaining thyroid tissue in my body, all of which is assumed to be cancerous. So I am getting near the end of the process and for that I am very thankful!

Throughout this week, I've been clinging to this particular verse:

The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
Deuteronomy 33:27a

I am humbled and most thankful for His everlasting arms.

Please join us in this feast of thanksgiving which Rebecca is hosting each day for the month of November. Its so much more satisfying than any big meal and has only the most positive eternal consequences!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Nineteen

I'm finally there! My thyroid hormone levels are low enough to proceed with the scan! Thank you, God! Right now, I am wading through the steps to get the arrangements made for my total body thyroid scan. My doctor is about an hour away from the cottage and not affiliated with the hospital close to us where I've had these done before. So he (and I) need to jump through a couple of additional hoops to get the arrangements in order. But things are proceeding and I am trusting God to go before us and smooth the way.

More thankfulness is happening all around us. Go share in it at Rebecca's.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Eighteen

Charlie had a routine vet appointment this morning. Well, as routine as vet appointments are for 14 year-old dogs with checkered medical pasts. But he did well. He accepted the inevitable in better spirits than usual and everything looked pretty good for the old boy. Today I am thanking God for my sweet, little Charlie (who's been dozing on a pillow next to me after his ordeal) and for his patient, kind veterinarian, Dr. Sharon. She makes things so much less stressful for both Charlie and me!

Rebecca is chronicling our thankful posts over at Rebecca Writes. What good gifts are you thanking God for today?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Seventeen

I just got up from a nap. Naps are a daily necessity in these waning thyroid hormone days. Especially on Tuesdays because my Revelations study is Tuesday evenings. I want my concentration as focused as possible for that and sharp thinking is harder to come by right now. So this afternoon, I am thanking God for the restorative power of sleep. Even just an hour makes a big difference.

What are you thanking God for today? Please share at Rebecca's. Sharing the thankfulness is such a blessing! So while I'm at it, thank you, Rebecca for hosting this month of thankfulness!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Sixteen

I had another doctor's appointment today. This one was to check my blood pressure. Way back before my thyroid cancer reoccurred and my hip bursitis was diagnosed, my primary care physician had put me on a prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug for what she thought at the time was arthritis pain. I had some negative reactions to that drug including high blood pressure...or so we thought. After being off of it for some weeks, my blood pressure did not return to normal. My doctor had me get a blood pressure cuff and check it at home for the last month or so. It seemed fine and today was the big day to return to the doctor with my record and the cuff so that she could check it for accuracy. And it is accurate! It seems that I have some "white coat syndrome" going on but no real hypertension! I didn't think I was nervous at the doctor's office, many doctors for how many medical problems can you see without a little bit of concern that there is another one going on? Today, I am so very, very thankful to God for normal blood pressure!

Please join in the thanksgiving at Rebecca's. The joy of it is contagious!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Fifteen

My special gratitude to God today is for the prayers of friends and family. I was amazed by the comments expressing prayerful concern in response to my thankfulness post of yesterday. I have bloggy friends who are praying for me! I also have some very special friends in real life (you know who you are) who are lifting me up in prayer these days. There is my church family who prays for me. And my "real" family, of course. I am blessed indeed!

To see what others are thanking God for this Lord's Day, visit Rebecca and join in our celebration of His good gifts.

Sunday's Hymn: Forever Settled in the Heav'ns

For ever settled in the heavens
Thy Word, O Lord, shall firmly stand;
Thy faithfulness shall never fail;
The earth abides at thy command.

Thy word and works unmoved remain,
Thine every purpose to fulfil;
All things are thine and thee obey,
And all as servants wait thy will.

I should have perished in my woe
Had not I loved thy law divine;
That law I never can forget;
O save me, Lord, for I am thine.

The wicked would destroy my soul,
But in thy truth is refuge sure;
Exceeding broad is thy command,
And in perfection shall endure.

Psalm 119:89-97, The Psalter, 1912
Tune: Duke Street, John Hatton, c. 1793

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Fourteen

As I slip further into hypothyroidism in preparation for my scan and treatment, I am experiencing more and more of those unpleasant symptoms. The temperature has been almost 60 degrees F. this afternoon but I am really cold. So I am thanking God today for warm clothes and hot tea. They both feel like my personal blessings right now.

What good gift are you thanking God for today? Please share and join in the thanksgiving at Rebecca Writes.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Thirteen

I'm thanking God today for our public library. I am one of many book lovers in our corner of the blogosphere and I love having lots of them at my fingertips on the bookshelves at the cottage. However, there really is limited space here. Plus I am not so fond of dusting that I want more stuff to dust and dust around. And some books are interesting but once I read them, I find I really don't care to own them. I want the books that I own to be the ones I refer to often or the ones I want to be able to lend to someone or the ones that impacted me so much that I am sentimental about them. So there are many books that I am thankful to be able to borrow from the library to peruse and then let them go back.

Rebecca is hard at work collecting our thankful thoughts each day of this month of November. Thanks, Rebecca!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Twelve

Andy took the day off today. We had some business to attend to in the morning but after that, we went out to lunch. We went to a place called Wildfire and used a gift card that his boss gave him last year for Christmas. This boss has already approved our fishing vacation time for next spring. He's so much more reasonable and fair than Andy's old boss. So today I am thanking God that Andy has a job, a good job, to take a day (or a whole vacation!) from and that he has a boss who treats Andy with respect.

To join in the thankfulness this month, visit Rebecca Writes. Its good to give thanks in all things!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Eleven

I saw my orthopedic doctor today for a follow-up visit on my hip. I thought he might give me another cortisone injection for the bursitis but he didn't. His opinion is that a lot of the remaining limp and pain (and it is less than it was) is due to weakened muscles on that side because of favoring it for so long as well as that my whole pelvis is making the adjustment to a heel lift in my other shoe. So he prescribed some additional physical therapy which I start next Tuesday. I see him again in six weeks. I am thankful today for a doctor I've come to like and trust. When I saw him first, I was "guardedly optimistic." He's young, not much older than our daughter, Emily, and rather reserved. But, I told myself, he must be up on the latest techniques being so recently out of school. And maybe he's more enthusiastic than the "seasoned" crowd. Today, he really listened to what I said, never making me feel like there were lots of other patients waiting for him (there were) and patiently explained why we are pursuing the treatment course he's prescribed. His rating went up in my book and I am thanking God for His provision for me in this young man.

Please share what you are thanking God for this day over at Rebecca's. Its a gift to us all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Ten

This morning, I've been preparing for the study of Revelations that I'm doing this year and which meets every Tuesday evening. This study is in addition to the rich study of Hebrews that my dear friends, Kim and Carol, and I are now into our third year of. I just took Charlie out for a short walk and I was thinking about how thankful I am for the opportunities I've had to study God's Word over the years in an organized way with women...and sometimes men too...that were serious about knowing who God really is and drawing closer to Him through that knowledge and understanding. I'm thankful for the way He continues to refine my understanding of Him and His truths and increase my freedom in Him as more and more old thoughts, thoughts I didn't even realize I had until they fell away, were revealed as bondage.

16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:16-17

Visit Rebecca to share in the thanksgiving each day of this month of November.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Nine

I am thanking God today for the successful washing of a coat that I love which is labeled "Dry Clean Only" but for which I could not justify the cost of dry cleaning. I got that coat several ago at a rummage sale for $3.00. Its so neutral that it goes with everything and its roomy enough to fit over bulky sweaters. Plus it has a hood, a feature I will never buy another coat or jacket without. I've gotten many years of use out of that coat and it had become a bit dirty. The fabric content is polyester and nylon so I took a chance. And it came out unscathed! And clean! Praise God!

Rebecca is gathering our thankful thoughts each day of this month of November so that we might share in the celebration of God's good gifts. Won't you join us? The blessings are multiplied for all.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Eight

Its the Lord's Day today and I am thanking God for the opportunity to worship Him freely and openly. We still enjoy that freedom in this country and its a freedom that ought not to be taken for granted. I pray that we never do.

To see what others are thankful for this day and to share your own thankful thoughts, visit Rebecca and be uplifted.

Sunday's Hymn: By Grace I'm Saved

By grace I'm saved, grace free and boundless;
My soul, believe and doubt it not.
Why stagger at this word of promise?
Hath Scripture ever falsehood taught?
Nay; then this word must true remain:
By grace thou, too, shalt heav'n obtain.

By grace! None dare lay claim to merit;
Our works and conduct have no worth.
God in his love sent our Redeemer,
Christ Jesus, to this sinful earth;
His death did for our sins atone,
And we are saved by grace alone.

By grace! O, mark this word of promise
When thou art by thy sins oppressed,
When Satan plagues thy troubled conscience,
And when thy heart is seeking rest.
What reason cannot comprehend
God by his grace to thee doth send.

By grace! This ground of faith is certain;
So long as God is true, it stands.
What saints have penned by inspiration,
What in his Word our God commands,
What our whole faith must rest upon,
Is grace alone, grace in his Son.

Christian L. Scheidt, 1742
Tune: Aud Gnaden Soll Ich Selig Werden, Justin H. Knecht, 1796

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Seven

I am thankful for Indian Summer. Indian Summer in North America is generally defined as a period of warm (at least 70 degrees F.) weather in the period of mid-October to end of November following a killing frost and preceding the first snow fall. I thought we might not make it to 70 degrees but we're already there today and tomorrow's forecast is looking quite similar. I'm especially grateful that this Indian Summer waited until most of the leaves have fallen and been raked up. That way we could (and did!) enjoy our long Charlie-walk without any feelings of guilt about unraked leaves. And it came on a weekend too! If we can squeeze it in, we might even take the canoe out this afternoon! Oh, thank you, God!

I wonder what everyone else is thankful for today. Rebecca is hosting our month of thankfulness and its been such fun and increases my own thankfulness to see what everyone else is thanking God for each day. Go on over and check it out!

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Six

I'm especially thankful for my home today. This morning, I took an elderly friend shopping and did some errands of my own as well. Maybe its because my thyroid levels are beginning to drop or maybe its because every place really was extra crowded on this warm November Friday but I could not wait to get home! My friend does not get out as much as I do (lucky her) and so she wanted to linger. I wanted to expedite the process and get home to my own little cottage with a sweet little dog curled up next to me and a cup of tea in hand. I'm a homebody at heart and it felt so good to finally get here! I thank God for my snug little refuge from a busy world...temporary abode that it is.

What are you thankful for today? Rebecca is compiling our thankful thoughts each day of this month of November and its such a blessing to read of the thankfulness of others. Please join in.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

15 Words or Less Poem

Having a bad hair day?
Me too.
Thought I'd borrow yours
and go incognito.

For more 15 Words or Less Poems or share one of your own, visit Laura Salas.

A Month of Thanksgiving: Day Five

Today and every day I am deeply thankful for the person and the work of Jesus Christ. This afternoon, my dear friends, Kim and Carol and I met for our weekly study of Hebrews and the passage that we looked at today is Hebrews 10:19-23. Its a summation of the first 9 1/2 chapters, the doctrinal part of the book of Hebrews, in which the author patiently lays out to the Hebrew Christians all the reasons to "hold unswervingly to the hope we profess," even and especially in the face of the awful persecution that they were facing and the temptation to renounce that hope and return to Judaism. Those reasons are just exactly who Christ is and what He has done for them and all believers. It is because of the obedience of the Son of God and His completed work that I can "draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith" because "He who promised is faithful."

John Brown, the commentator that I am using for this study puts it this way:

"The full and assured belief of that respecting which we have confidence--that Christ as our High Priest has bodily passed through these heavens into the heaven of heavens by His own blood, thereby proving the perfection of His atoning sacrifice, and the efficacy of His intercession; and thus securing that in due time we shall also enter in a similar way into the heavens; and that in heaven, whither He has entered as our Forerunner, He is a Great High Priest over the celestial temple, having everything connected with the acceptable worship of God committed to His management....It is the faith of the truth respecting the reality and efficacy of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and the hope that rises out of that faith, that enable us to draw near to Him, from whom, but for this faith and hope, had we just views of His holiness and justice and power, we would seek shelter, if possible, under rocks and mountains."

To share your thankfulness to God this month of November, visit Rebecca who is compiling the good gifts that God gives to each one of His children. What a blessing to read of the various ways that He does that!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Four

Today I am especially thanking God for our daughter, Emily, and her willingness to help with the work around the house that I am unable to do lately. The cottage is located in an older section of Crystal Lake on a lovely corner lot with plenty of trees in the neighborhood. Those trees are beautiful at every time of the year. BUT they do have a negative aspect in the late fall...key word there is fall, as in falling leaves. We have plenty of them! The last few years, Emily has been off at school and Andy and I capably did them ourselves. This year, half of that team, namely me, has a bum hip and is off her synthroid. Emily filled in for me voluntarily and willingly and worked like a trouper. That job wouldn't be finished yet without her help.

Besides that, tonight is prayer meeting at our house and I like having a clean house when we open it to our church family. Actually, I like having a clean house any time! And Emily knows that. So again, she gamely pitched in and did a large share of the cleaning yesterday so that I wouldn't have to do it all. That's on on top of her own commitments and responsibilities in getting her music business off the ground. And anyone who's ever started a business knows that it takes lots of work! Especially at the beginning stages! So I am grateful and humbled by the way she put my needs (and desires) ahead of her own without question. God has truly blessed me through Emily.

What are you thanking God for this day? Please share over at Rebecca Writes and join in the praising of God for His good gifts to all of His children....every day!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Three

I just got back from another beautiful walk with Charlie and this time Andy was able to go with us! That's because he works from home on Tuesdays. So today, I am thanking God for Tuesdays. And I am thanking God for a happy marriage to a husband that I want to be with.

This picture is not of today's walk, as you can see. Emily took it on our vacation in the spring. But I love it because to me it reflects something about the marriage relationship that Andy and I share.

There is no more lovely, friendly, and charming relationship, communion, or company than a good marriage.~ Martin Luther

Each day this month of November, Rebecca is gathering our thoughts on the things we are thankful for in our lives. You can share in the praising of God for these blessings in several ways. For the details, visit Rebecca here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day Two

After an early morning shower and a few dark clouds, today has brightened up into a lovely sunny day. Charlie and I were able to get out for a short long as my hip would take...and it was delightful! So today I am finding myself thanking God for His glorious creation!

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1:20
Rebecca is once again hosting all of our thankful posts and thoughts each day of this month of November. Visit Rebecca Writes to share in praising God for all of His good gifts to each one of us. See you there! And thank you, Rebecca!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Month of Thankfulness: Day One

Its been quite a while since I posted anything about my history of thyroid cancer. If there is one thing I've learned about this disease, its that I have to view it as chronic. Now, thyroid cancer is highly treatable and most likely I will eventually die of something else...and I'm thinking not any time soon! tent is continuing to fall apart at the seams. I had my routine thyroid blood work just over a week ago and the tumor marker is up. So now, I am off my synthroid waiting to get hypothyroid enough to have a total body thyroid scan. My doctor is thinking late November.

Sliding into hypothyroidism is not fun. You feel increasingly sluggish every day as all systems work more and more slowly. You are so tired all the time. And so cold. And you gain weight. I really hate that part! Your skin gets so dry. You just feel like one big slug!

But here's the thankfulness part. God is faithful to never leave me in whatever trial I face (Romans 8:38-39, Psalm 46:1). That, and His promise of a transformed body (Phil.3:21) are what I am thanking Him for today.

Sunday's Hymn: From Depths of Woe I Raise to Thee

From depths of woe I raise to thee
The voice of lamentation;
Lord, turn a gracious ear to me
And hear my supplication:
If thou iniquities dost mark,
Our secret sins and misdeeds dark,
O who shall stand before thee?

To wash away the crimson stain,
Grace, grace alone availeth;
Our works, alas! are all in vain;
In much the best life faileth:
No man can glory in thy sight,
All must alike confess thy might,
And live alone by mercy.

Therefore my trust is in the Lord,
And not in mine own merit;
On him my soul shall rest, his Word
Upholds my fainting spirit:
His promised mercy is my fort,
My comfort and my sweet support;
I wait for it with patience.

What though I wait the livelong night,
And till the dawn appeareth,
My heart still trusteth in his might;
It doubteth not nor feareth:
Do thus, O ye of Israel's seed,
Ye of the Spirit born indeed;
And wait till God appeareth.

Though great our sins and sore our woes
His grace much more aboundeth;
His helping love no limit knows,
Our utmost need it soundeth.
Our Shepherd good and true is he,
Who will at last his Israel free
From all their sin and sorrow.

Martin Luther, 1523
Tune: Allein Gott In Der Hon', Geistliche Lieder, Leipzig, 1539
Arr. Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, 1809-1847

Friday, October 30, 2009

A Month of Thanksgiving

Once again, Rebecca is declaring the entire month of November a month of thanksgiving. She will be posting her own thankful thoughts each day of the month and invites us to join in the thanksgiving in various ways. You can visit her to get the details. I'm looking forward to reading about all the good gifts He gives to everyone!

For myself, I am intending to post a thankful thought each day throughout the month of November. God has so graciously provided for and blessed me in so very many ways! How could I not take every opportunity to give Him abundant praise for that?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

15 Words or Less Poem

Unmoored and floundering
In a cold, grey sea;
Thank God for the Son-rise!

More 15 Words or Less Poems at Laura Salas's journal.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Devotional Christian

The Devotional Christian website is being relaunched. If you are looking for a really good daily devotional to subscribe to, Devotional Christian is the place to go. Devotions by eight different contemporary Chrisitan writers are available.

Now, for us bloggers, there is a very nice incentive to help the folks over at Devotional Christian get the word out about the relaunch of their site. If you post an announcement on your blog and let them know, you will be entered in a drawing for a package of twenty-two books! Yes, you read that right. Twenty-two books! And they are twenty-two really good books...ones well worth reading!

HT: Kim at The Upward Call

A Japanese Proverb

If a man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: Blessed Lord, in Thee is Refuge

Blessed Lord, in thee is refuge,
Safety for my trembling soul:
Pow'r to lift my head when drooping
'Midst the angry billow's roll.
I will trust thee,
I will trust thee,
I will trust thee,
All my life thou shalt control.

In the past, too, unbelieving,
'Midst the tempest I have been,
And my heart has slowly trusted
What my eyes have never seen.
Blessed Jesus,
Blessed Jesus,
Blessed Jesus,
Teach me on thine arm to lean.

O, for trust that brings the triumph
When defeat seems strangely near;
O, for faith that changes fighting
Into vict'ry's ringing cheer!
Faith triumphant,
Faith triumphant,
Faith triumphant,
Knowing not defeat or fear.

Herbert Booth
Tune: Bryn Calfaria, William Owen, 1814-1893

Saturday, October 24, 2009

October Leaves

Its been a rather rainy October in Crystal Lake, IL this year so I thought the changing leaves would be less colorful than some years. Not so! This afternoon was lovely and sunny for a change so I took advantage of the opportunity to catch a few photos of the leaf display. Check out these beauties!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

15 Words or Less Poem

My day!
My way!
Red shoes?
No way!
Now--I need a groom!

More 15 Words or Less Poems at Laura's place.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

National Cookie Month

The things I discover at the library! For example, did you know that October is National Cookie Month? So in honor of the occasion, I've baked some pumpkin cookies and I'm taking them to our prayer meeting tonight. But first, I'm sharing a picture and the recipe. Oh, and of course we've taste-tested a few...just to make sure they are up to snuff. They are!!

2 cups flour
1 1/3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup white chocolate chips, chocolate chips, raisins or chopped nuts, choose any two (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease cookie sheets

Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Cream butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract and mix well. Add flour mixture and mix well. Add optional ingredients (I divided the dough and added white chocolate chips to one half and milk chocolate chips to the other half) and mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake for 14-16 minutes until cookies are lightly browned and set in the middle. Let cool on cookie sheets for two minutes. Then remove to cooling racks to finish cooling.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Falling Apart

Its been a while since I posted anything besides my Sunday Hymns. I just haven't felt like talking much. But Kim's post this morning inspired me to write. I'm with her 100% in the falling apart at the seams part and the not liking it much. I've been struggling with hip and lower back pain for the past several months and limping for the last three or so. Finally, a diagnosis was made last Wednesday. I have bursitis in my left hip and the doctor gave me a cortisone injection in that hip to alleviate the pain and promote healing. The pain is starting to subside and I am not limping quite as pronouncedly. Still I have to be careful not to overdo it and I am feeling guilty (sort of) that I won't be able to do my part on the leaf raking this fall.

The doctor as well as the physical therapist inform me that my right leg is 1/4 inch shorter than my left and that is contributing to the problem. So I've done the research and have some heel lifts on order to go in my shoes. Its just another confirmation of the imperfection of this mortal body of mine. It never was perfect and now, in fact, this tent is falling apart at the seams! I'm so thankful that my real life, my eternal life with God, can never fall apart on me!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: O Lord, How Shall I Meet Thee

O Lord, how shall I meet thee,
How welcome thee aright?
Thy people long to greet thee,
My hope, my heart's delight!
O, kindle, Lord, most holy,
Thy lamp within my breast
To do in spirit lowly
All that may please thee best.

Love caused thine incarnation,
Love brought thee down to me;
Thy thirst for my salvation
Procured my liberty.
O love beyond all telling,
That led thee to embrace,
In love all love excelling,
Our lost and fallen race!

Rejoice, then, ye sad-hearted,
Who sit in deepest gloom,
Who mourn o'er joys departed
And tremble at your doom.
Despair not, he is near you,
Yea, standing at the door,
Who best can help and cheer you
And bids you weep no more.

Sin's debt, that fearful burden,
Let not your soul distress;
Your guilt the Lord will pardon
And cover by his grace.
He comes, for men procuring
The peace of sin forgiv'n,
For all God's sons securing
Their heritage in heav'n.

Paul Gerhardt, 1653
Tune: St. Theodulph, Melchior Teschner, 1615

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: Jesus, My Great High Priest

Jesus, my great High Priest,
Offered his blood and died;
My guilty conscience seeks
No sacrifice beside.
His pow'rful blood did once atone,
And now it pleads before the Throne.

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.

Should all the hosts of death
And pow'rs of hell unknown
Put their most dreadful forms
Of rage and mischief on,
I shall be safe, for Christ displays
His conqu'ring pow'r and guardian grace.

Isaac Watts, 1709
Tune: Bevan, Sir John Goss, 1853

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: As When the Hebrew Prophet Raised

As when the Hebrew prophet raised
The brazen serpent high,
The wounded looked, and straight were cured,
The people ceased to die;

So from the Saviour on the cross
A healing virtue flows;
Who looks to him with lively faith
Is saved from endless woes.

For God gave up his Son to death,
So gen'rous was his love,
That all the faithful might enjoy
Eternal life above.

Not to condemn the sons of men
The Son of God appeared;
No weapons in his hand are seen,
Nor voice of terror heard:

He came to raise our fallen state,
And our lost hopes restore;
Faith leads us to the mercy seat,
And bids us fear no more.

Isaac Watts, 1709
Tune: Downs, Lowell Mason, 1832

Friday, October 2, 2009

Another Orchid in Bloom!

That orchid that I mentioned in my last post, the one I was expecting to bloom soon? Well, here it is!! It was in bud yesterday afternoon when we (dear friends Kim, Carol and I) gathered for Bible study. The next time I noticed it was during dinner which was later than usual because Andy had to work late. Actually it was Andy who noticed it first since his customary seat faces the window area. This morning it is fully opened. Emily and I had to get used to this bloom to see the beauty in it but Andy loved its unusual shape and coloring immediately. Isn't God's creation amazing!

A New Orchid

I'm afraid I've become hooked on orchids. A while back, I told you that I was babysitting some orchids for an elderly friend from church. Well, he reclaimed the specimen pictured in that previous post but gave me the other three orchids I was tending for him. They are in my kitchen window area and I expect one of them to bloom soon. Then my dear friend, Kim, gave me a lovely pale pink one for my birthday. That one has since lost its blooms for the time being but last Friday, Emily and I attended a local orchid show and I acquired this elegant white orchid. I am finding that I love having some gorgeous flowers in bloom in my kitchen!

Fifteen Words or Less Poem

Within is a tiger's heart
Unleashed by motherhood.

More 15 Words or Less Poems at Laura Purdie Salas's place.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah

Hallelujah, praise Jehovah,
O my soul, Jehovah praise;
I will sing the glorious praises
Of my God through all my days.
Put no confidence in princes,
Nor for help on man depend;
He shall die, to dust returning,
And his purposes shall end.

Happy is the man that chooses
Israel's God to be his aid;
He is blessed whose hope of blessing
On the Lord his God is stayed.
Heaven and earth the Lord created,
Seas and all that they contain;
He delivers from oppression,
Righteousness he will maintain.

Food he daily gives the hungry,
Sets the mourning prisoner free,
Raises those bowed down with anguish,
Makes the sightless eyes to see.
Well Jehovah loves the righteous,
And the stranger he befriends,
Helps the fatherless and widow,
Judgment on the wicked sends.

Hallelujah, praise Jehovah,
O my soul, Jehovah praise;
I will sing the glorious praises
Of my God through all my days.
Over all God reigns for ever,
Through all ages he is king;
Unto him, thy God, O Zion,
Joyful hallelujahs sing.

Psalm 146, The Psalter, 1912
Tune: Ripley, Arr. from a Gregorian chant by Lowell Mason, 1839

Thursday, September 24, 2009

National Dog Week

Did you know that National Dog Week started this past Tuesday, Sept. 22nd? I didn't. At least not until I stopped in at the library this morning. So while I was there, I picked up a book on caring for your senior dog and promptly came home to give Charlie some extra love and cuddling. Isn't he just the cutest!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: O Lord, How are My Foes Increased!

O Lord, how are my foes increased!
Against me many rise;
How many say, "In vain for help
He on his God relies."

Thou art my shield and glory Lord,
My Saviour, O Most High.
The Lord from out his holy hill
Gives answer when I cry.

I laid me down and slept, I waked,
Because the Lord sustains;
Though many thousands compass me,
Unmoved my soul remains.

Arise, O Lord; save me, my God;
For thou hast owned my cause,
And oft hast beaten down my foes
Who scorn thy righteous laws.

Salvation to the Lord belongs;
In him his saints are blest;
O let thy blessing evermore
Upon thy people rest.

From Psalm 3

Tune: Eden, William Henry Havergal, 1793-1870

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: Blessed Jesus, At Thy Word

Blessed Jesus, at thy word
We are gathered all to hear thee;
Let our hearts and souls be stirred
Now to seek and love and fear thee,
By thy teachings, sweet and holy,
Drawn from earth to love thee solely.

All our knowledge, sense, and sight
Lie in deepest darkness shrouded
Till thy Spirit breaks our night
With the beams of truth unclouded.
Thou alone to God canst win us;
Thou must work all good within us.

Glorious Lord, thyself impart,
Light of Light, from God proceeding;
Open thou our ears and heart,
Help us by thy Spirit's pleading;
Hear the cry thy people raises,
Hear and bless our prayers and praises.

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Praise to thee and adoration!
Grant that we thy Word may trust
And obtain true consolation
While we here below must wander,
Till we sing thy praises yonder.

St. 1-3, Tobias Clausnitzer, 1663
St. 4, Anon., 1707

Translation by Catherine Winkworth, 1858
Translation, St. 4, Anon.

Tune: Liebster Jesu, Johann R. Ahle, 1664

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: From All That Dwell Below the Skies

From all that dwell below the skies
Let the Creator's praise arise:
Let the Redeemer's name be sung
Through every land, by every tongue.

Eternal are thy mercies, Lord;
Eternal truth attends thy Word:
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore
Till suns shall rise and set no more.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

From Psalm 117
Isaac Watts, 1719

Tune: Lasst Uns Erfreuen
Geistliche Kirchengesang, Cologne, 1623

Friday, September 4, 2009

Unstuffed Shells

12 oz. small pasta shells (other small pasta works just fine too)
10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 egg
3 cups marinara sauce (or tomato sauce of your choice)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta and set aside.

Saute spinach, onions and nutmeg in small amount of oil. In a medium size bowl, mash ricotta cheese with milk and parsley and add spinach mixture. Beat egg and add to spinach and cheese mixture. Stir in cooked pasta.

Pour half of tomato sauce into bottom of baking dish. Spread ricotta and pasta mixture over that. Pour the other half of tomato sauce over the pasta mixture. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Emily and I made this for supper last night. Its quick, easy and good. We all love it served with soft French bread and a salad.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Late Summer Blooms

Technically, its still summer for another couple of weeks but it does feel decidedly fall-like in our neck of the woods. And I love that! But still, I hate to see the summer flowers fade and that makes me especially appreciative of these late summer blooms. Here at the cottage, the roses always seem to perk up again right about now and these blooms on the plantain lilies are making a lovely show. are the flowers doing by you? I'd love to know what's blooming right now in your little plot of earth.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: Great God, We Sing That Mighty Hand

Great God, we sing that mighty hand
By which supported still we stand;
The opening year thy mercy shows;
That mercy crowns it till it close.

By day, by night, at home, abroad,
Still are we guarded by our God;
By his incessant bounty fed,
By his unerring counsel led.

With grateful hearts the past we own;
The future, all to us unknown,
We to thy guardian care commit,
And peaceful leave before thy feet.

In scenes exalted or depressed,
Thou art our Joy, and thou our Rest;
Thy goodness all our hopes shall raise,
Adored through all our changing days.

When death shall interrupt these songs,
And seal in silence mortal tongues,
Our Helper God, in whom we trust,
Shall keep our souls and guard our dust.

Philip Doddridge, 1755
St. 5, line 4, alt.

Tune: Wareham, William Knapp, 1738

Thursday, August 27, 2009

15 Words or Less Poem

Life's fragile resilience in the face of trials by fire and ice;
God amazes!

More 15 Words or Less Poems here.