Field Stone Cottage Blog

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: Come, Holy Spirit, Come

Come, Holy Spirit, come;
Let thy bright beams arise;
Dispel the darkness from our minds,
And open all our eyes.

Cheer our desponding hearts,
Thou heav'nly Paraclete;
Give us to lie with humble hope
At our Redeemer's feet.

Revive our drooping faith;
Our doubts and fears remove;
And kindle in our breasts the flames
Of never-dying love.

Convince us of our sin;
Then lead to Jesus' blood,
And to our wond'ring view, reveal
The secret love of God.

'Tis thine to cleanse the heart,
To sanctify the soul,
To pour fresh life in ev'ry part,
And new create the whole.

Dwell, therefore, in our hearts;
Our minds from bondage free;
Then we shall know and praise and love
The Father, Son, and Thee.

Joseph Hart, 1712-1768
Tune: Camberwell S.M., Har. by Samuel S. Wesley, 1810-1876

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: Be Thou My Vision

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Irish Hymn, c. 8th century
Translated by Mary E. Byrne, 1905
Versified by Eleanor H. Hull, 1912
Tune: Slane, Traditional Irish melody, arranged by Donald P. Hustad, 1973

Friday, May 22, 2009

Heading Out

We're heading out early tomorrow morning for a week at the Turtle Flambeau Flowage in Northern Wisconsin. To Andy, this is a fishing trip. To me, its a retreat and fishing is only one of the activities of relaxation I plan to indulge in. Reading and crocheting and sitting around doing nothing but cuddling Charlie (maybe even on the boat) are also on my agenda.

I am so glad that Emily is going with us too! For one thing, she loves to fish. But more than that, we'll get to do some catching up with her.

So, you won't be hearing from me (other than my already scheduled Sunday Hymn) for the next week. Hope yours is a good as mine is going to be!

Poinsettia in May

This poinsettia sits in front of the window by the table in my kitchen. I took this shot two days ago. That would be May 20, 2009. May 20th! Kim gave me this plant when she and Tom and the boys joined us for Thanksgiving this past November. That means I've enjoyed those brilliant red bracts for six months now! I've never before managed to keep a poinsettia past...oh, maybe not even up until St. Patrick's Day. And really, I've not done anything in particular to keep this one. Just the usual watering and a bit of fertilizer now and again. So I am amazed!

Have any of you kept a poinsettia beyond six months? Got any secret tips for me? If so, please share. I'm wondering if I can keep this plant going until next Thanksgiving...even Christmas, perhaps.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Top Ten Favorite Hymns

1. Be Thou My Vision
Irish Hymn, c. 8th century
Translated by Mary E. Byrne, 1905
Versified by Eleanor H. Hull, 1912
Tune: Slane, Traditional Irish melody, arranged by Donald P. Hustad, 1973

I love this one best because it expresses the deepest prayer of my heart, that He would by my
Vision, the Lord of my heart. And I love the way the words build and expand the image of God to Ruler of All!

2. O Soul, Are You Weary and Troubled?
Helen H. Lemmel, 1922
Tune: Lemmel, by Helen H. Lemmel, 1922

This hymn is my comfort and reminder when things are not going well in my world.

3. Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
William Williams, 1745
Translated by Peter Williams and William Williams, 1771
Tune: CWM Rhondda, John Hughes, 1907

My favorite words in this favorite hymn are this line: I am weak, but Thou are mighty; Hold me with Thy pow'rful hand; How could that not comfort a Pilgrim through this barren land?

4. Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing
Robert Robinson, 1758
Tune: Nettleton, Traditional American Melody

Its the third verse with its reference to my proneness to wander that speaks so clearly to me in this one. Plus I love the tune!

5. Great is Thy Faithfulness
Thomas O. Chisholm, 1923
Tune: Faithfulness, William M. Runyan, 1923

This hymn just makes my heart sing!

6. When We Walk With the Lord (Trust and Obey)
John H. Sammis, 1887
Tune: Trust and Obey, Daniel B. Towner, 1887

If only I could always live this way all the time....

7. A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Martin Luther, 1529
Translated by Frederick H. Hedge, 1852
Tune: Ein' Feste Burg, Martin Luther, 1829

Such a strong, reassuring statement of the sure victory of believers in Christ.

8. Jesus! What a Friend For Sinners
J. Wilbur Chapman, 1910
Tune: Hyfrydol, Roland H. Prichard, c. 1830

More reassuring truth about my surety in Christ.

9. How Great Thou Art
Carl Boberg, c. 1885
Translated by Stuart K. Hine, 1949
Tune: O Store Gud, Swedish Folk Melody

The title says it all!

The link on the title is for the Swedish version. The English version is still under copyright but you can read about it here.

10. Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty
Reginald Heber, 1826
Tune: Nicaea, John B. Dykes, 1861

I love this one because its one of the earliest that I remember singing as a child...and its so majestic!

Here they are. This was a tough task! There are so many hymns that I truly love.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Top Ten Favorite Hymns

I've seen this project mentioned at some of my favorite blogs (here and here) and I've decided to join in. It seems that Sherry at Semicolon is embarking on a project to compile our favorite hymns. Here are her guidelines:

1. Make a list of your top ten hymns of all time. Hymn (according to Webster): a song of praise to God a metrical composition adapted for singing in a religious service. For the purposes of this poll, I’m limiting the choices to Christian hymns, but the form of the song doesn’t matter. In other words, the songs on your list should be suitable for congregational singing and should be Christian. Handel’s Messiah is Christian but probably not suitable for congregational hymn singing. Anything you sing in worship service, even what are normally called choruses, is fine. (Oh, English, please, or at least translated into English. Sorry, but it’s all I really speak.)

2.List these hymns in your order of preference. So your #1 hymn would be the one you feel is the best, and so on. I will be giving your first choice 10 points, your second choice 9 points, and so on.

3. Submit your list to me at sherryDOTearlyATgmailDOTcom. Write “Hymn Survey” in the subject line. I’d rather you didn’t leave your votes in my comments here because it’ll be easier to tabulate all the votes if they’re all in my email (plus I want everyone’s votes to be a surprise). Deadline for votes to be sent to me is May 31, 2009.

4. If you like, you can submit a justification for each hymn. Or you can send me a link to an audio or video version online. Include the name of the hymn’s author or lyricist and the composer of the melody you prefer if at all possible, especially if you think I might be unfamiliar with your particular hymn.

And Sherry adds:
Oh, and if you don't mind, I would appreciate your publicizing this poll on your blog. I'd like to get at least 100 nominations or lists for this survey; more would be even better. If you want to post your top ten list on your blog, that's fine. Just be sure you send me a copy.
So look for my top ten list in an upcoming post. I hope to find yours at your blog! But don't forget to email your list to Sherry too!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Charlie's Second Big Trip

Charlie did see his cardiologist yesterday afternoon and she concurred with his regular vet. In fact, she characterized the deterioration in the condition of his heart as "mild." Now that's an adjective that I was glad to hear! Again, I thank God for each day He allows me to enjoy the companionship of this sweet little canine boy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: A Mighty Fortress

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper he amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great;
And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God's own choosing.
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he,
Lord Sabaoth his name,
From age to age the same,
And he must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The prince of darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure;
One little word shall fell him.

That Word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through him who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God's truth abideth still;
His kingdom is for ever.

Martin Luther, 1529
Tr. by Frederick H. Hedge, 1853

Tune: Ein' Feste Burg, Martin Luther, 1529

Friday, May 15, 2009

Charlie's Big Trip

My little old guy, Charlie, had his annual big trip to the vet for a major health assessment on Wednesday afternoon. Charlie is 13 years old now and has some heart problems as well as his long history of bladder stones. I'm happy to report that there is absolutely no trace of bladder stones in there now! His heart is a different matter. Its a bit more enlarged than last year. That is reflected in his shortened walks and slower pace on them. He sleeps more than he used to too. Eats less as well. But overall, not too bad! He sees his cardiologist on Monday but, preliminarily, all looks pretty good. I love this little boy and am so thankful for every day that God allows me to have and enjoy him.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Just as I Was Poised for a Comeback... laptop got quite sick. No, there was no pig that kissed it. In fact, I am not quite sure what did happen. At first it seemed like an unexpected power outage caused the corruption of some file or other. That diagnosis comes from Andy. I don't even have enough computer savvy to know that I shouldn't have unplugged it (its battery is totally dead) and just moved it from one location to another without shutting it off. I just thought it was kind of like moving a lamp across the room without turning it off before unplugging it. But then, Andy said that wasn't the whole problem and I can't really relate what was the whole problem. I just know that he had to totally wipe it out and "rebuild it." And that happened last night.

Its good to have Daisybelle back! We name our computers over here and they all have "belle" names. Andy's is Annabelle. Emily's is Lilybelle. Anyway, Daisybelle does not have all of her programs back yet but I can use her again now. And I am getting a belated Mother's Day gift. Its a new battery for my laptop aaand...a backup drive. Woohoo!

Now, you may think I am pretty computer inept...and its true. But the rest of the truth is that I have learned so very much about using a computer from having a blog! And next to what Iused to know about computers, I am pretty smart now! It just seems sometimes like all the computer knowledge I gain has to be the hard way.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

God's Love

One of the things that has been the focus of my attention during my hiatus from blogging is the Bible study I've been doing this year on the life of Moses. We've studied through the books of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers this year and are now finishing up the book of Deuteronomy. And this book, Deuteronomy, has surely captured my attention! Right now, its my favorite book of the Bible! The leader of our study has described it as similar to a commencement address, this series of addresses to the Israelites that Moses gives before they cross the Jordan to inhabit the land God has promised them for generations now. I can see her point. There is certainly a retrospective quality to how Moses speaks to them as they are about to commence a new stage of their life as a nation, the nation chosen by God. But to me, no commencement address conveys the kind of love that Moses does. Its the kind of love a father might convey to his beloved children as he gives them his final advice from his death bed. And in a very real way, it is that. Moses knows that he will die before his people enter Canaan. He's grown to love these "stiff-necked, rebellious" people through his forty years of leading them, as a parent loves his recalcitrant children. But still, he could not love the people the way he does as a human shepherd. He is a servant of God and he is really conveying to them the love of God. By extension, Moses is conveying God's love to all of us present day people of God people too. And that's the part I've been just soaking up!

There are lots of warnings of curses, as well as blessings, in the book of Deuteronomy; curses in the form of pronouncements of what will happen to God's people if they incur His wrath by their disobedience to Him, especially by idolatry. But I find that oddly comforting too. He doesn't just let us go our own way when we turn away from Him. He does all of those terrible things to bring us to the end of ourselves so we have no where to turn but back to Him. Now if that isn't love, I don't know what is!

15 Words or Less Poem

A perfect web
Spider spun
Enhanced by dew drops
God done.

Go visit Laura Purdie Salas to contribute a poem of your own or read more.

P.S. I know its bad grammar but I like it anyway.

Time for a Comeback

Its been another dry spell at Field Stone Cottage. Quite a chunk of time has passed since I've posted anything other than Sunday hymns. I made an agreement with myself back in January that I owned the blog, not the other way around, and I guess you could say that I've kept that agreement. But I'm ready for another comeback, I do believe! I'm going to start posting more than just Sunday hymns (much as I love them) starting right now.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday's Hymn: Christ is Made the Sure Foundation

Christ is made the sure foundation,
Christ the Head and Cornerstone,
Chosen of the Lord and precious,
Binding all the church in one;
Holy Zion's help for ever
And her confidence alone.

All that dedicated city,
Dearly loved of God on high,
In exultant jubilation
Pours perpetual melody;
God the One in Three adoring
In glad hymns eternally.

To this temple, where we call thee,
Come, O Lord of hosts today:
With thy wonted lovingkindness
Hear thy people as they pray;
And thy fullest benediction
Shed within its walls alway.

Here vouchsafe to all thy servants
What they ask of thee to gain,
What they gain from thee for ever
With the blessed to retain,
And hereafter in thy glory
Evermore with thee to reign.

Laud and honor to the Father,
Laud and honor to the Son,
Laud and honor to the Spirit,
Ever Three and ever One,
One in might, and One in glory,
While unending ages run.

Anonymous, Latin, 7th Century
Tr. by John Mason Neale, 1851

Tune: Regent Square, Henry Smart, 1867