Field Stone Cottage Blog

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thankful Thursday

This has been Emily's week off from her playing and teaching responsibilities so she and I have done some relaxing together and its been fun. I'm thankful for my daughter and the good times we have together whether its visiting a museum, enjoying a quiet lunch or just watching a movie at home. I even enjoy the times we work together but that's not been on the schedule much this week. The key is in the word together. I'm thankful that God gave me Emily.

I'm also thankful for Kim of The Upward Call who initiated these Thankful Thursday posts. This is the last Thursday of 2010 but I'm not about to stop giving thanks to our gracious God for all of His gifts to us. There's blessing in the discipline of giving thanks but I'm blessed by hearing all of your reasons to thank Him too. So I'm planning to continue my Thankful Thursday posts in 2011 and I'm hoping that you will join in as well.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: Silent Night

Silent night! Holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and Child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night! Holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from heav'n afar,
Heavenly hosts sing: Alleluia,
Christ, the Saviour, is born!

Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

Joseph Mohr, 1818
Tune: Stille Nacht, Franz Gruber, 1818

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours the peace and joy that comes from celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus on a mid-winter's night so long ago in Bethlehem.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm so thankful that Andy has had this week off from work and we've had the opportunity to spend some time together just hanging out over coffee (tea for me), doing a little shopping, watching a movie at home, even doing a few chores. But we've been together and that's the part that I love.

I'm glad Emily has been around most of the time too. And Charlie, of course. Its been a nice, homebody sort of relaxing week as we look forward to our simple Christmas celebration.

Each Thursday of 2010, I've joined with Kim of The Upward Call and several other friends in thanking our God for His gracious gifts to us. Please join in!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

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
Tr. by Catherine Winkworth, 1863
Tune: Thirsting, Louis Bourgeois, 1551

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for this promise in Isaiah 26:3-4:

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.

This passage was part of the lesson in our study of Isaiah for last week but I am still pondering it. I find such comfort in it. One aspect of our study for the last 12 weeks has been focused on understanding God's grace alongside His wrath and judgment. Isaiah is conveying God's judgment to the sinful people of Judah and surrounding nations in his prophesy but I am struck by how his compassion for those who will suffer comes through in his words. I can sense his real grief over those who do not trust in the Lord all these many years later. But Isaiah's words are God's words. He is bringing God's word to the people of his time and to us. So its God's compassion and grief that is so palpable to me. And what greater expression of grace and love is there than to warn people of the judgment and death to come and tell them how to be saved from it, even how to have peace in the midst of it?

And so in this advent season, in a world of uncertainty and chaos where death and destruction are as far away as a click on the internet, my goal is to keep my mind steadfast on the Prince of Peace. I thank God for His infinite grace and compassion in sending Him to accomplish the salvation by His death on the cross of all who would trust in Him. I thank Him for the privilege of sharing this very good news with those around me too. Merry Christmas, indeed!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: To Us a Child of Hope is Born

To us a child of hope is born,
To us a son is giv'n,
Him shall the tribes of earth obey,
Him all the hosts of heaven

His name shall be the Prince of Peace,
For evermore adored,
The Wonderful, the Counsellor,
The great and mighty Lord;

His power, increasing, still shall spread,
His reign no end shall know;
Justice shall guard his throne above,
And peace abound below.

To us a Child of hope is born,
To us a Son is giv'n,
The Wonderful, the Counsellor,
The mighty Lord of heaven.

John Morison, 1781, alt.
Tune: Zerah, Lowell Mason, 1837

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Its bitterly cold out today and it been snowing since just about 3 this afternoon. But I've got warm clothes, a warm house and right now I've even got a warm little dog in my lap. Plus I'm drinking a nice, hot cup of tea! I am blessed! I thank God for all this warmth surrounding me on a cold and snowy day!

Each Thursday of 2010, I'm joining my friend, Kim at The Upward Call, and several others in thanking our God for His gracious provisions to us. Won't you join us?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: Behold, a Branch is Growing

Behold, a Branch is growing
Of loveliest form and grace,
As prophets sung, foreknowing;
It springs from Jesse's race
And bears one little Flow'r
In midst of coldest winter,
At deepest midnight hour.

Isaiah hath foretold it
In words of promise sure,
And Mary's arms enfold it,
A virgin meek and pure.
Through God's eternal will
This Child to her is given
At midnight calm and still.

The shepherds heard the story,
Proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of Glory,
Was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped
And in the manger found him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God;
From sin and death he saves us
And lightens every load.

O Saviour, Child of Mary,
Who felt our human woe;
O Saviour, King of Glory,
Who dost our weakness know,
Bring us at length, we pray,
To the bright courts of heaven
And to the endless day.

German author unknown, c. 1500
Tr., st. 1-4, Harriet R. Spaeth, 1875
Tr., st. 5, John C. Mattes, 1914
Tune: Es Ist Ein' Ros' Entsprungen, Traditional German melody
har. by Michael Praetorius, 1609, alt.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Its Thursday and Kim, Carol and I gathered this afternoon for our Hebrews study. Actually, we were in the book of Judges today, studying Samson. We're technically in Hebrews 11 in verses 32-38 but we've divided up the heroes of the faith mentioned in those verses to study them individually in a bit more depth and then report back to the group placing those men on the grid of that passage. Its been so fascinating to do it this way! I'm thankful for all I've learned throughout the study of Hebrews and the way this book has allowed me to see the entire Word of God (and God Himself) with an expanded view. I'm also so very thankful for Kim and Carol and the way God has knit us together through this study. Thank you, Lord!

I'm returning to my Thankful Thursday posts, initiated by Kim of The Upward Call. I wouldn't want to give up the blessings of shared thanksgiving to our gracious God now...or ever!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Thirty

I just got home a few minutes ago and there were snow flurries falling out there! I'm thankful for that because Andy gave me some lovely snowflake jewelry for Christmas last year and I've been anxious to wear it again but felt kind of silly to do so when there was no hint of snow yet. Now I'm going to wear it proudly with my pink sweater! Thank you, Lord, and thank you for the loving husband you gave me too.

Today is the last day to join in Rebecca's November of Thanksgiving. Its been a blessing to me to focus on God's good gifts to me each day and then read about yours as well. Thank you for hosting this annual festival of praise to our gracious God, Rebecca!

Monday, November 29, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Twenty-Nine

I am thankful for the Holy Spirit because:

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.~Romans 8:6

Tomorrow is the last day to join in the November of Thanksgiving at Rebecca Writes. Please do!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Twenty-Eighth

What temperature constitutes warmth outside is decidedly relative to the season. Today it is sunny and 44 degrees F. and for late November, that's warm! So this afternoon, I'm thanking God for the blessing of sunshine and warmth. It enhanced a lovely walk with Charlie.

Only two more days of Rebecca's November of Thanksgiving! Please join in the praising of our good God for the gifts He gives us.

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
Tr. by John Mason Neale, 1851
Tune: Veni Emmanuel, Ancient plain song, 13th century
Adapted by Thomas Helmore, 1856

Saturday, November 27, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Twenty-Seven

Today I am thankful that I can:

Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.~Isaiah 26:4

Each day of November, Rebecca is gathering our grateful thoughts that honor and glorify our gracious God. Won't you join in the thanksgiving?

Friday, November 26, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Twenty-Six

What a nice day I've had with Emily today! Sadly, Andy was at work, but Emily and I hung out and watched some Masterchef on hulu this morning. We waited until the Black Friday rush was dying down and slipped out to get a few things that we wanted to shop for together this afternoon. So I am thankful for Emily, a loving daughter who is fun to be with and also willing to help when needed. (She did her share of the cooking and clean-up yesterday too!)

What are you thankful for today? Only a few more days left to share in Rebecca's November of Thanksgiving. Please do!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Twenty-Four

I'm anticipating tomorrow's celebration with thankfulness for the time that Andy, Emily, Charlie and I will have to relax together and reflect on God's goodness to us. Well, okay, Charlie won't be doing much of that reflection but he'll enjoy the being together part. And his presence is one more reminder of God's lavish provisions for us...not only every thing we need but so much more besides! What a great God we have!

Each day of this month, there is a gathering of thankfulness going on over at Rebecca's. Won't you join in?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Twenty-Three

Yesterday was rainy; in fact, we even had a big thunderstorm! But the temperature was in the lower 60's...Fahrenheit, that is...and, except for the stormy period, it really wasn't too unpleasant out there. Today is sharply colder, topping out at 32 degrees. And its windy; the biting, blustery kind of wind. I was so thankful to come home from my Bible study commitment for today and the few errands I had on the way home to a warm, snug cottage. So today, I'm thanking God for central heat and automatic thermostats. I'm thanking Him that I don't have to do a thing when I get home to warm it up in starting a fire, no shoveling coal, no nothing like what people had to do to warm their homes in the not so distant past or even now in other parts of the world. And I don't have to worry about my Charlie getting cold while I'm gone either!

Each day of November, Rebecca is gathering our thought of gratitude to our gracious God. Won't you join in?


Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age.--VICTOR HUGO

Monday, November 22, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Twenty-Two

I'm especially thankful for a very good friend who listens when I need her to. I do thank God for her.

What are you thanking Him for today? Please share over at Rebecca's November of Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Twenty-One

Today I am thankful for an excellent sermon on Jonah 3 which followed a very thought-provoking Sunday School on the same subject. Actually, I am very thankful for all of the teachings on Jonah that we as a church have been blessed by this month.

Rebecca is hosting her annual November of Thanksgiving. Won't you share your thankfulness today?

Sunday's Hymn: How Good it is to Thank the Lord

How good it is to thank the Lord,
And praise to thee, Most High, accord,
To show thy love with morning light,
And tell thy faithfulness each night;
Yea, good it is thy praise to sing,
And all our sweetest music bring.

O Lord, with joy my heart expands
Before the wonders of thy hands;
Great works, Jehovah, thou hast wrought,
Exceeding deep thine ev'ry thought;
A foolish man knows not their worth,
Nor he whose mind is of the earth.

When as the grass the wicked grow,
When sinners flourish here below,
Then is there endless ruin nigh,
But thou, O Lord, art throned on high;
Thy foes shall fall before thy might,
The wicked shall be put to flight.

The righteous man shall flourish well,
And in the house of God shall dwell;
He shall be like a goodly tree,
And all his life shall fruitful be;
For righteous is the Lord and just,
He is my Rock, in him I trust.

From Psalm 92:1-9, 12-15
The Psalter, 1912
Tune: St. Petersburg, Dimitri Bortniansky, 1752-1825

Saturday, November 20, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Twenty

Right now, I am very thankful to be able to say that we are finished raking leaves in our yard! They finally all came down so we could finish the job. I'm also thankful that Andy and I are able to do the work of raking and bagging all those leaves. Praise God!

This November, as usual, Rebecca is hosting her annual November of Thanksgiving. Won't you join us in thanking God for His many blessings?

Friday, November 19, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Nineteen

Charlie had a big health check-up today and he got the all clear on his bladder stone situation and his heart situation! That's great news for us who love him! So I'm thankful today for Charlie and God's protection of his health. I'm thankful for every moment of the 15 years (plus) that Charlie has been a part of our family.

How about you? What are you thanking God for today? Please share with us at Rebecca's November of Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Eighteen

Its Thursday, the day for my dear friends Kim and Carol and me to gather and share in the study of the book of Hebrews. We're in our fourth year of this study now and I thank God for each and every time we've gathered and all He's taught me through it. Its been a wonderful study!

Oh, and I thank Him for Carol and Kim too! Studying His Word together has brought us close in a way no other pursuit ever can. Thank you, Lord.

What are you thanking Him for today? Please share over at Rebecca's!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Seventeen

We've sung A Mighty Fortress is Our God both yesterday and today in my Isaiah Bible study and its still playing in my mind. I love the rousing tune of it but even more, I love the words. I love the truths Martin Luther states with no equivocation; that our God is a mighty fortress to us, that Christ Jesus is on the side of His own, and that He will fell the prince of darkness, our ancient foe, with one little word. There is such vast comfort in this hymn for the people of God because its true that we can never accomplish that victory in our own striving.

But this is not the only hymn I love. There are so many, many hymns that speak of the precious truths of our faith in ways that stir my soul to thanksgiving; so for all of them and the men and women that wrote them, I am giving thanks today.

What thankful thoughts are on your mind today? Please share with us all at Rebecca's November of Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Sixteen

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.~Ephesians 2:10

I am thankful for the work God gives me to do...caring for my family and home, the women He gives me to shepherd, my ministry of availability to those who cross my path, serving at my church. But in all areas of my life the most important task He gives me is to bring the light of Christ, the life-giving light of Christ to all. What a privilege that is!

Rebecca is holding her annual November of Thanksgiving. Won't you join in?

Monday, November 15, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Fifteen

I've been thinking while I work around the cottage this morning and what I'm thinking is just exactly how thankful I am for my washer and dryer. I'm thankful that I can just put the clothes in the washer, add the detergent and walk away knowing the clothes will be clean when I move them over to the dryer about 40 minutes later. Then, in about 40 more minutes, I can take them out of the dryer, fold or hang them and viola! I am finished with laundry! I can only imagine the backbreaking work that previous generations of women endured to clean the family's clothing...and that some women in the world still endure. I am blessed.

What blessing are you thanking God for today? Do tell and share over at Rebecca's November of Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Fourteen

Today I've been thanking God for good friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, and the way we are able to encourage each other in faith through the struggles, big and small, that we face in our daily lives. What a precious gift is the spirit of unity through Christ that comes with the most precious gift of faith in Him! Thank you, God!

Each day of November, Rebecca invites us to share our thanksgiving thoughts. Its been such a blessing to me to focus on the good gifts that God gives us by reading all of your thoughts as well as posting my own. Don't stop now! Please!

Sunday's Hymn: Safe in the Arms of Jesus

Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe on his gentle breast,
There by his love o'ershaded,
Sweetly my soul shall rest.
Hark! 'tis the voice of angels,
Borne in a song to me,
Over the fields of glory,
Over the jasper sea.

Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe on his gentle breast,
There by his love o'ershaded,
Sweetly my soul shall rest.

Safe in the arms of Jesus,
Safe from corroding care,
Safe from the world's temptations,
Sin cannot harm me there.
Free from the blight of sorrow,
Free from my doubts and fears,
Only a few more trials,
Only a few more tears.

Jesus, my heart's dear Refuge,
Jesus has died for me;
Firm on the Rock of Ages
Ever my trust shall be.
Here let me wait with patience,
Wait till the night is o'er,
Wait till I see the morning
Break on the golden shore.

Fanny J. Crosby, 1870
Tune: Safe in the Arms of Jesus, William H. Doane, 1870

Saturday, November 13, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Thirteen

Right now, its just about 50 degrees F. outside and raining lightly. But this morning when Andy and I got up, it was several degrees warmer and just cloudy, although you could see what was coming. We decided to use the time before it did come to work on the continual fall clean-up. Andy decided on cleaning the gutters and I set out to trim back the roses in preparation for blowing their protective winter robes of leaves around them. I have 12 rose bushes whose blooms are a very deep pink that sometimes steps over into red. They are gorgeous! And if I dead-head them regularly (which I am pretty good about doing), they keep producing those outrageously beautiful flowers all the way from early June well into November. So as I pruned them back, I thanked God for those magnificent roses...and every beautiful flower in my yard, all sleeping now, but ready to bloom again when God turns the seasons to meet their needs. And I'm thankful too, that God turns the seasons of my life to meet my needs, not my wants, giving me times to rest, times of pruning and dead-heading, and times of blossoming.

Rebecca is gathering our thankful thoughts each day of this November. Please join in!

Friday, November 12, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Twelve

I'm thankful for the ease and relative inexpense with which I can keep in touch with extended family members. Oh, and I'm thankful for those family members too...each one of them!

What are you thanking God for today? Please share your thankful thoughts at Rebecca's Thanksgiving Celebration and bless us all in our praise to our gracious God.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I've Been Tagged....

twice!! Both Rosemary and Kim from Hiraeth have tagged yours truly for the Crazy Eights meme. Here's how it goes:

Answer eight questions posed by the person who tagged you, come up with eight more questions and tag eight more people to answer your questions.

Does that make it the Crazy Sixteens Meme for me? Well, I'll answer the sixteen questions but I'm not going to tag anyone. If you want to do the meme, just pick any of these 16 questions and have at it! I like to rebel against the rules every now and then. Don't you?

Rosemary's Questions:

1. What is your earliest childhood memory? Pushing my sister, Mary, around the living room in a porta-crib.

2. Do you usually wear an apron when you cook or clean your home? I wear an apron when I cook but not when I clean.

3. With what do you top your hot cocoa: marshmallows, marshmallow crème, whipped cream, nothing at all? Nothing at all. But I do sometimes swirl a candy cane around in it to get a bit of peppermint going.

4. Will you have a fresh or artificial Christmas tree this year? Artificial.

5. Colored lights or clear? Clear, right now. But I do vacillate on this one.

6. Tell us about your favorite piece of furniture in your home. My bed because I love finally reclining there at the end of each busy day to read a few pages and gain the restoration that sleep gives.

7. If you could spend six months anywhere in the world, expenses paid, where would you choose to go and what would you be doing? Ireland and I'd just soak up living there.

8. If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? Just kidding. Couldn’t resist throwing that in…Pink Dogwood. I love pink!

9. If you were given a million dollars, tax free, what would you do with it? Find a way to glorify God with it.

Kim's Questions:

1. Did you have a favorite Aunt or Uncle growing up and if so, what made them so special to you? My Aunt Agnes. She's still my favorite Aunt because we laugh together and she thinks I am someone important.

2. Carpet or hardwood floors; what is your preference? Hardwood.

3. Do you remember your dreams upon awaking? Sometimes.

4. How many different churches have you attended in the past decade? Three.

5. Do you prefer to do your shopping in stores or online? Online. Except for shoes.

6. Do you label and date the back of family photos? No. I always mean to, but I don't.

7. What is your least favorite household task? Dusting. Its just too tedious.

8. Do you stroll the aisles in the library for interesting books to bring home or search the online catalog to reserve the specific book you are looking for? Both. But I must say that I love strolling the aisles of the library for interesting books and some of the best I've ever read I discovered that way!

November of Thanksgiving-Day Eleven

I'm so thankful for the robe of righteousness with which I'm covered by Christ through His atoning work so that my sins are completely covered before my Heavenly Father.

I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.~Isaiah 61:10

I'm celebrating Thanksgiving every day this month and sharing my thanks in Rebecca's November of Thanksgiving. Please join in!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Ten

I'm thankful for an unplanned afternoon spent with my dear daughter, Emily, and that she still wants me to cut her hair. I consider that a high compliment.

I'm also thankful for TWO lovely walks with my sweet Charlie in the warm, November sunshine today. At fifteen years old, he doesn't walk as far or as fast as he used to but he still loves his walks!

What are you thankful for today? Please share in Rebecca's November of Thanksgiving. Its a blessing to praise God together for His good gifts to us.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Nine

This is part of the passage that was covered today in my study of Isaiah:

In that day you will say:

“I will praise you, LORD.
Although you were angry with me,
your anger has turned away
and you have comforted me.
Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water
from the wells of salvation.~Isaiah 12:1-3

What reasons to give praise to our Mighty God! In this day, I sing this song with thanksgiving and joy!

Blessings shared are blessings increased. Please share in Rebecca's November of Thanksgiving and bless us all.

Monday, November 8, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Eight

As I've worked and meditated on my study of Isaiah today, I am thankful:

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.~Hebrews 4:12-13

Rebecca is hosting a November of Thanksgiving gathering at her place. Please come and share your thanks too!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Seven

I am thankful that God created dogs. Anyone who has read my blog much at all knows that I am crazy about our little Charlie. But the truth is I like most dogs. Last night, Andy and I took our neighbor's dog for a walk while they went to a wedding and I'm still thinking about how much fun we had! Cody is a yellow lab, about as far from our little Maltese as you can get. Cody was happy to see us as we opened his door and ready to go as soon as we said walk. And go he did! He's very well trained and we took him the same route as we walk with Charlie but we were home again in half the time! And breathless too! Once returned to his house, we fed Cody and were ready to go home but Cody made it clear that he wanted us to stay a while and visit with him. I love that about dogs! If you like them, they like you and they are not shy to show it. Uncomplicated affection. What's not to like about that!

What are you thankful for today? Please join in the November of Thanksgiving festivities going on over at Rebecca's.

Sunday's Hymn: Peace, Perfect Peace

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus' bosom naught but calm is found.

Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus' keeping we are safe and they.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and he is on the throne.

Peace, perfect peace, death shad'wing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.

It is enough: earth's struggles soon shall cease,
And Jesus call us to heav'n's perfect peace.

Edward H. Bickersteth, 1875
Tune: Pax Tecum, Alt. from George T. Caldbeck by Charles J. Vincent, 1876

Saturday, November 6, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Six

I love spending time with my family! It doesn't matter if we're working together or playing together or just relaxing together. I just love the feeling of togetherness. Today we got in two of the three and by my calculations, that's a good day! We started out by relaxing over tea/coffee and bagels together while we waited for the day to warm up a bit. Then we switched to leaf raking and other yard work...still together. And the plan for the evening is to watch Dr. Who on DVD together over more tea and a snack. In my book, it doesn't get much better than this! Thank you, God, for a lovely day with my family!

Rebecca is hosting a whole month of Thanksgiving over at her place. Won't you join in the celebration?

Friday, November 5, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Five

I've been out and about with various commitments and errands for most of today and that's not the way I like to spend my days! I am your basic garden variety homebody so I sighed a huge sigh of relief when I backed in the garage and closed the door about 2:30 this afternoon. Yes, I am very thankful for my home...every day but I'm especially appreciative of it this day. And its such a sweet, comfy home too! That's an extra blessing that I'm thanking God for today.

What are you thanking Him for right now? Blessings shared reflect even more glory to our gracious God so please share yours over at Rebecca Writes.

By Popular Request...

Barbequed Spoonburgers!

4 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onions
half of a green pepper, diced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard

Brown beef in oil in fry pan. Drain. Saute onions and green peppers. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-4 hours. Serve on buns.

So you see spoonburgers are basically Sloppy Joe's with a bit of BBQ tang. I hope your families love them as much as mine!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Four

This afternoon, I'm thankful for leftovers. I was thinking that I might save them for tomorrow when I might be even more tired but I decided to go with them for dinner tonight. Its barbequed spoonburgers, a family favorite and no one will be disappointed. Least of all, me!

What are you thankful for today? Please share in Rebecca's November of Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Three

I am thankful for God's grace to me:

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.~Romans 3:22-24

What are you thanking our gracious God for this day? Each day in the month of November, Rebecca is gathering our thankful posts in a celebration of Thanksgiving. Please join in!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day Two

On this Election Day, I am thankful that:

The king's heart (and the senator's and the judge's and the governor's and the sheriff's) is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.~Proverbs 21:1

Rebecca invites us to join with her in giving thanks to our good God each day of this November of Thanksgiving. Please do!

Monday, November 1, 2010

November of Thanksgiving-Day One

This weekend has been a whirlwind of things to give thanks for! As I sit here at my computer, I hardly know where to begin. Here are a few of my thankful thoughts:

  • We finally found tenants for our little rental home! We had been praying that God would allow us to use that house to bless someone else as well as the blessing that it is to us to have it rented and occupied. The details were worked out Saturday morning, the lease was signed Saturday afternoon and our new tenants began moving in on Saturday evening. Praise God for His provisions all around in this situation!
  • Yesterday we had the joy of attending a performance by our daughter, Emily, and her fellow musicians in their chamber ensemble. Praise God for the gift of music and that He gave it to Emily and her friends!
  • We attended that performance and enjoyed the afternoon with some good friends including Kim from Hiraeth and her family. Praise God for the gift of friendship!

Its a Thanksgiving Festival at Rebecca Writes! Please join in!

A Tradition

Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday and there is a tradition associated with it that I've been especially blessed by participating in for the last couple of years. Its the November of Thanksgiving postings hosted by Rebecca and she always invites abundant participation. Here are the ways we can join in the festivities.

  • Mention something you’re thankful for in the comments of her posts. She’ll include your comment in one of her thanksgiving posts.
  • Email her to tell her what you’re thankful for and she’ll include it in a post.
  • Post your thankful thought(s) on your own blog, send her the link(s), and she’ll link to your post(s). If you plan to post something daily during the month, let her know that, too. That way you won’t need to send her your daily links.
I'm excited to know just how our good God is blessing you and to share the ways He blesses me! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: I'm But a Stranger Here, Heav'n is My Home

I'm but a stranger here,
Heav'n is my home;
Earth is a desert drear,
Heav'n is my home;
Danger and sorrow stand
Round me on ev'ry hand;
Heav'n is my fatherland,
Heav'n is my home.

What though the tempest rage,
Heav'n is my home;
Short is my pilgrimage,
Heav'n is my home;
And time's wild wintry blast
Soon shall be over past;
I shall reach home at last,
Heav'n is my home;

There, at my Saviour's side,
Heav'n is my home;
I shall be glorified,
Heav'n is my home;
There are the good and blest,
Those I love most and best;
And there I too shall rest,
Heav'n is my home;

Therefore I murmur not,
Heav'n is my home;
Whate'er my earthly lot,
Heav'n is my home;
And I shall surely stand
There at my Lord's right hand;
Heav'n is my fatherland,
Heav'n is my home

Thomas R. Taylor, 1836
Tune: St. Edmund, Sir Arthur S. Sullivan, 1872

Friday, October 29, 2010


Friday, again. Whew! I'm thankful that God is my strength these days...every day, in fact. Its through His power that I am able to do anything ever but some days that's more obvious than others. Its been a hectic Fall around the cottage!

Yesterday was my annual thyroid check-up and I am so thankful to report that all is well on that front. This year's Thanksgiving Day should be much different from last year's and I'm praising Him for that!

And this morning I'm thankful for a hot cup of tea and a warm little dog in my lap as I study God's Word and thank Him for His promises to me.

Each Thursday (or Friday) of 2010, I'm joining my friend, Kim of The Upward Call and others in thanking God for His blessings. Won't you join us?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: My God, Is Any Hour So Sweet

My God, is any hour so sweet,
From blush of morn to evening star,
As that which calls me to thy feet,
The hour of prayer?

Then is my strength by thee renewed;
Then are my sins by thee forgiv'n;
Then dost thou cheer my solitude
With hope of heav'n.

No words can tell what sweet relief
There for my ev'ry want I find,
What strength for warfare, balm for grief,
What peace of mind!

Hushed is each doubt, gone ev'ry fear;
My spirit seems in heav'n to stay:
And e'en the penitential tear
Is wiped away.

Lord, till I reach yon blissful shore,
No privilege so dear shall be
As thus my inmost soul to pour
In prayer to thee.

Charlotte Elliott, 1836
Tune: Eudora, James R. Murray, 1841-1905

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am thanking God today for His sovereignty. No matter what is going on in my life and my corner of the world, I can rest in this promise:

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
What are you thanking our gracious God for today? Please join Kim of The Upward Call, myself and many others in giving Him praise for all the good gifts He gives to us each Thursday of 2010.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Color

There's a park just a block or so from the cottage and we headed that way on our Charlie walk this evening. Shamefully, I forgot my camera but Andy rescued me with his Blackberry. This is the eastern end of the park with the setting sun shining from the west causing that glow in the trees in the background. Talk about fall color! I just had to share it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: O God, Most Holy are Thy Ways

O God, most holy are thy ways,
And who like thee deserves my praise?
Thou only doest wondrous things,
The whole wide world thy glory sings;
Thine outstretched arm thy people saved,
Though sore distressed and long enslaved.

O God, from thee the waters fled,
The depths were moved with mighty dread,
The swelling clouds their torrents poured,
And o'er the earth the tempest roared;
'Mid lightning's flash and thunder's sound
Great trembling shook the solid ground.

Thy way was in the sea, O God,
Through mighty waters, deep and broad;
None understood but God alone,
To man thy footsteps were unknown;
But safe thy people thou didst keep,
Almighty Shepherd of thy sheep.

Psalm 77:13-20
The Psalter, 1912
Tune: The Lord's Prayer, Schumann's Gesangbuch, 1539

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I get to stay home all day today! And for that, homebody that I am, I am thanking God this fine morning! Its a perfect day to stay home too. Truth be told, most days are for me. But today is Charlie's 15th birthday so its an extra special day to be home. I get to have him sleep in my lap while I do my Bible study, take him for a walk or two, and even just watch him sleep in his little bed as I pass back and forth doing laundry and cleaning bathrooms. Did I mention that I'm thankful for Charlie too? Ah, I thank God for the contentment I feel this day.

What are you thanking Him for t0day? Kim of The Upward Call and quite a few others are cultivating an attitude of gratitude as we thank God for His blessings each Thursday of 2010. Please jump right in with us!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: In the Hour of Trial, Jesus, Plead for Me

In the hour of trial,
Jesus, plead for me;
Lest by base denial
I depart from thee;
When thou seest me waver,
With a look recall,
Nor for fear or favor
Suffer me to fall.

With its witching pleasures
Would this vain world charm,
Or its sordid treasures
Spread to work me harm,
Bring to my remembrance
Sad Gethsemane,
Or, in darker semblance,
Cross-crowned Calvary.

If with sore affliction
Thou in love chastise,
Pour thy benediction
On the sacrifice;
Then, upon thine altar
Freely offered up,
Though the flesh may falter,
Faith shall drink the cup.

When in dust and ashes
To the grave I sink,
While heav'n's glory flashes
O'er the shelving brink,
On thy truth relying
Through that mortal strife,
Lord, receive me, dying,
To eternal life.

James Montgomery, 1834
St. 1, line 2, alt.
Tune: Penitence, Spencer Lane, 1879

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm thanking God for a working dryer today. Tuesday morning, I washed the sheets from our bed and moved them over to the dryer. Clunk, clunk, clunk. But thank God, they did dry. Andy (aka: Handy Andy) pretty much disassembled the whole thing on Tuesday evening and determined the problem to be a worn out shaft on a fan. Yesterday on his lunch hour, he went to some big appliance parts warehouse close to where he works in Chicago and got the part. Last evening was our turn to host prayer meeting at our house so Andy worked on the dryer up until the first knock on the door. He didn't think he'd be able to finish getting it back together afterwards because he wanted to replace some old parts on the gas line while he was at it. But praise God for enabling him to get it all up and running by the time I had the kitchen cleaned!

That old washer and dryer are 14 years old but I love them. They do their jobs well (when they are up and running) and I am so thankful not to have to replace either one.

Each Thursday of 2010, there's a bit of Thanksgiving going on in our part of the blog world. Kim of the Upward Call got us started but we can never thank God enough! Won't you join us?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


In the day of prosperity we have many refuges to resort to; in the day of adversity only one.--HORATIUS BONAR

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: How Beautiful the Sight of Brethren Who Agree

How beautiful the sight
Of brethren who agree
In friendship to unite,
And bonds of charity;
'Tis like the precious ointment, shed
O'er all his robes, from Aaron's head.

'Tis like the dews that fill
The cups of Hermon's flow'rs;
Or Zion's fruitful hill,
Bright with the drops of show'rs.
When mingling odors breathe around,
And glory rests on all the ground.

For there the Lord commands
Blessings, a boundless store,
From his unsparing hands,
Yea, life for evermore;
Thrice happy they who meet above
To spend eternity in love!

From Psalm 133, James Montgomery, 1771-1854
Tune: St. Godric, John B. Dykes, 1823-1876

Friday, October 1, 2010


...Friday. Yes, I'm a day late. And the reason is the thing I'm especially thanking God for this week. Andy and I spent the day fishing with some good friends! We left home before 6:00AM and weren't home again until just after 9:00PM. And every minute was a special day of fellowship and blessing all the way around. To top it off, the fishing was outstanding too!

Earlier in the week, I was feeling overwhelmed and tired and like I really couldn't afford to take yesterday off from my responsibilities. But as always, God knows what I need even when I don't, maybe especially when I don't. Anyway, yesterday was just what I needed and I am so thankful for the blessings He gave me throughout that special day. Even the weather was perfect!

So what are you thanking Him for today? Or maybe I should say yesterday. I'm also thankful that Kim from The Upward Call got us all starting on intentionally thanking Him each week of 2010. Join us?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

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

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for a husband who encourages me when I'm discouraged and overwhelmed. In fact, he is encouraging in the most important way. He points me away from myself and my circumstances and back to our sovereign God. Who could possible be discouraged when standing in awe of our Almighty God?

There's a thanksgiving going on each Thursday of 2010 initiated by Kim of The Upward Call. Won't you join in the festivities?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Quotes From the Cottage

If we live to eat, instead of eating to live, our spiritual vision is bound to be defective....
It is this which should speak loudly to our hearts: he who yields to the lusts of the flesh injures his spiritual instincts, and opens wide the door for the Devil to impose upon him and deceive him with his lies! He who allows natural sentiments and affections to override the requirements of God's revealed will, is reduced to a humiliated state in the end. How often it proves that a man's spiritual foes are they of his own household! Isaac loved Esau unwisely.~A.W. Pink in An Exposition of Hebrews on Heb. 11:20

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: O Word of God Incarnate

O Word of God Incarnate,
O Wisdom from on high,
O Truth unchanged, unchanging,
O light of our dark sky;
We praise thee for the radiance
That from the hallowed page,
A lantern to our footsteps
Shines on from age to age.

The church from her dear Master
Received the gift divine,
And still that light she lifteth
O'er all the earth to shine.
It is the golden casket,
Where gems of truth are stored;
It is the heav'n-drawn picture
Of Christ, the living Word.

It floateth like a banner
Before God's host unfurled;
It shineth like a beacon
Above the darkling world.
It is the chart and compass
That o'er life's surging sea,
'Mid mists and rocks and quicksands,
Still guides, O Christ, to thee.

O make thy church, dear Saviour,
A lamp of purest gold,
To bear before the nations
Thy true light, as of old.
O teach thy wand'ring pilgrims
By this their path to trace,
Till, clouds and darkness ended,
They see thee face to face.

William Walsham How, 1867
Tune: Munich, Meiningen Gesangbuch, 1693

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Yesterday was the first day of the study of Isaiah that I will be doing this year. I think I'm going to learn a lot and I'm very excited about it! I am also very thankful and humbled to have the privilege of leading a group of women through this study. That the Holy One of Israel calls me to do this, enables me to shepherd these women through this study is awe-inspiring and that He grows me in my faith while serving Him is such an overwhelming blessing. I am truly grateful to our sovereign God.

Each Thursday of 2010, I am joining my friend, Kim of The Upward Call and others in thanking Him for His blessings. Won't you join us?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: God, In the Gospel of His Son

God, in the gospel of his Son,
Makes his eternal counsels known;
Where love in all its glory shines,
And truth is drawn in fairest lines.

Here sinners of a humble frame
May taste his grace, and learn his Name;
May read, in characters of blood,
The wisdom, pow'r, and grace of God.

The pris'ner here may break his chains;
The weary rest from all his pains;
The captive feel his bondage cease;
The mourner find the way of peace.

Here faith reveals to mortal eyes
A brighter world beyond the skies;
Here shines the light which guides our way
From earth to realms of endless day.

O grant us grace, Almighty Lord,
To read and mark thy holy Word;
Its truths with meekness to receive,
And by its holy precepts live.

St. 1-2, Benjamin Beddome, 1787
St. 3-5, alt. by Thomas Cotterill, 1819
Tune: Germany, William Gardiner's Sacred Melodies, 1815

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful for opportunities to....
  • study God's Word
  • worship Him
  • serve Him
  • cling to Him
  • even be disciplined by Him.
I am thankful to know and belong to our God. I am thankful for Christ's atoning sacrifice for me which gives me life in Him.

Share your thankfulness with us, won't you? Kim at The Upward Call initiated our Thankful Thursdays but the blessings are multiplied by sharing the thanksgiving.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: I Waited for the Lord Most High

I waited for the Lord most high,
And he inclined to hear my cry;
He took me from destruction's pit
And from the miry clay;
Upon a rock he set my feet,
And steadfast made my way.

A new and joyful song of praise
He taught my thankful heart to raise;
And many, seeing me restored,
Shall fear the Lord and trust;
And blest are they that trust the Lord,
The humble and the just.

O Lord my God, how manifold
Thy wondrous works which I behold,
And all thy loving, gracious thought
Thou hast bestowed on man;
To count thy mercies I have sought,
But boundless is their span.

Psalm 40:1-5, The Psalter, 1912
Tune: Dunstan, Sir Joseph Barnby, 1838-1896

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Words

There are certain words or phrases that, upon initially being introduced to them, just go around and around in my brain looking for ways to be used in everyday speech or writing. But sometimes, hard as I try, I just can't come up with a conversation in which they fit. Today's Merriam-Webster Dictionary Word of the Day is a perfect example. The word is clitic. Do you know its definition? Or have you even heard the word clitic before? I hadn't. But here's a clue to its meaning. It'll surprise me if your speech isn't just chock full of clitics. Mine is. Go see what we've been using all along without knowing it!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful today for cooler temperatures and rain. I'm not a hot weather lover at all so our abundance of 90 and above days this summer has not been to my liking one little bit! And, although overall its been a rather wet summer, the last couple of weeks have been dry. Considering that I've recently planted some hydrangeas and a few other perennials as well as the fact that I'm now responsible for the garden our former tenants left, I'm very thankful for this help with the watering!

Please join with Kim of The Upward Call, myself and several other friends who are committed to praising our God for the good gifts in our lives each Thursday of 2010. What are you thanking God for today?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Quotes From the Cottage

Many of these displays of faith which have come under our review, have been given towards the close of life, or in the article of death. It is a question of deep interest to us all, Have we a faith which will support us amid the frailties of age, amid the debilities or the agonies of dissolving nature? We all profess faith now: the hour which is to try whether we possess it or not is fast approaching. The reality and the strength of our faith must by and by--God only knows how soon--be put to a severe trial. Ah! how many, who thought they had faith in health, find they have none in sickness; and how many, who thought their faith strong, find then that it is indeed but "as a grain of mustard seed!" Let us now, by seeking clear, distinct, extended views of Christian truth and its evidence, "lay up a good foundation for the time to come, that we may hold on eternal life." Nothing but the faith of the Gospel can enable a rationally thinking man to enter with composure and delight into the unseen world. It is the faith of the Gospel, and that alone, which can enable the expiring mortal to exult in the dissolution of "the earthly house of this tabernacle," and say, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"~John Brown in Hebrews regarding Hebrews 11:20-22

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: Nothing But the Blood of Jesus

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

O precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my cleansing this I see—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my pardon this my plea—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Now by this I'll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Now by this I'll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Robert Lowry, 1876
Tune: Nothing But the Blood, Robert Lowry, 1876

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thankful Thursday

The work marathon began for my hubby at 8:45 Tuesday evening when he headed into work to do his part for the move of some equipment. He said it went smoothly but he didn't get home again until 3:30 AM yesterday morning. After maybe 2 1/2 hours of sleep, he was up again and out the door to be back at work in case any problems arose from said equipment move. Some problems did arise and he didn't get home again until 9:30 last night. Right now, Andy is sleeping and that's pretty unusual...its 9 AM! But he was exhausted!

Today I am thankful to God for:
  • His protection of my husband on the travel to and from work as well as the time working while Andy was so tired
  • His provision of a boss who told Andy to work from home today...and not be in any hurry to get up to do it!
  • His provision of this job, a good job, for Andy when so many are struggling with unemployment
What are you thanking God for today? Each Thursday of 2010, I'm sharing my thankfulness along with Kim of The Upward Call and other friends. Please join us!

Update: I love the way sharing these good gifts from our gracious God magnifies our recognition of the blessings He provides! I just visited Rosemary at Whatever is Good and was reminded to thank Him for the restorative sleep that He's provided for Andy as well. Thank you, Rosemary!

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Mystery Ship!

Here it is...the "mystery ship" of the Maritime Heritage Festival in Port Washington, WI! So if you haven't clicked through to find out (or I didn't tell you yesterday after church), she is...

...the H.M.S. Bounty!
This Bounty was built in 1962 in Nova Scotia specifically for the MGM Film Studio's production of Mutiny on the Bounty. The original Bounty was a British Naval ship and the most famous mutiny actually took place on her in 1789 when Captain Bligh was overthrown by Master Mate Fletcher Christian and his followers in the South Pacific.

Built one third larger than the original, with longer hallways, larger decks and higher ceilings to accommodate movie equipment, she still remains true to her 18th century roots. In addition to the movie she was built for, the H.M.S. Bounty has been used in Treasure Island, Yellow Beard and Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean-Dead Man's Chest among others.

The Bounty's tables use ropes (called lines on a ship) in what was an early attempt at gimbaling which is a method of keeping things level on a ship when it heels or pitches on the sea. You can imagine how much easier this makes it to eat on a ship!

Figureheads were used on the old tall ships to enable sailors, who were generally illiterate, to locate their ships on the docks as well as to appease Neptune, the god of the sea. The Bounty's figurehead is quite sedate compared to the more typical buxom and scantily clad ones.

Aside from her use in seafaring movies, the Bounty's mission is primarily educational. She appears dockside, as we toured her, or you can sail port-to-port on her. Can't you just imagine yourself behind the wheel with Captain Jack Sparrow at your side!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tall Ships

Friday we celebrated getting the hard work done on the rental by enjoying an outing to Port Washington, WI to see the tall ships there as part of the Maritime Heritage Festival. The forecast was for overcast skies with a 40% chance of thunderstorms but we set out hoping that the 60% chance of no T-storms would prevail. Here's what things looked like upon our arrival:

We proceeded to check in with the tall ship that we were scheduled to sail on at 10:00 AM only to discover that there was some sort of misunderstanding between the crew of the ship and the people in charge at the marina resulting in a missing boarding ramp. By the time that was resolved and we boarded (about 45 minutes late), the sky looked more like this:

Oh, and the ship we sailed on? It was the Roseway, the last working pilot schooner in this country. She retired from that service in 1973 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997. She now serves as the educational vessel of the World Ocean School, a nonprofit organization. Here's a picture of her taken during the cruise after ours:

The other ship that was available for cruising was the Lynx. The Lynx is a replica of an 1812 naval schooner and is owned and operated by the Lynx Educational Foundation, another nonprofit educational foundation. Their mission is to to teach about America's struggle to preserve her freedom.

There was some difficulty for these ships in negotiating off the docks and proceeding out into Lake Michigan (and back in) because of the amount of draft they need and the restrictions caused by a rocky jetty at the mouth of the harbor. They both had rubber dinghies to assist them in these maneuvers but doesn't it look like the Lynx is about to be boarded by pirates?

Maybe that's why this shot was fired a little while later!

There were more tall ships to be toured as well, including one billed as a "mystery ship." But this post is getting rather long so I think I'll just leave that one as a mystery for today and show you the pictures of it tomorrow. Happy sailing!

Sunday's Hymn: My Times are in Thy Hand

My times are in thy hand;
My God, I wish them there;
My life, my friends, my soul, I leave
Entirely to thy care.

My times are in thy hand;
Whatever they may be;
Pleasing or painful, dark or bright,
As best may seem to thee.

My times are in thy hand;
Why should I doubt or fear?
My Father's hand will never cause
His child a needless tear.

My times are in thy hand;
Jesus the Crucified;
Those hands my cruel sins had pierced
Are now my guard and guide.

William F. Lloyd, 1824
Tune: Vigil, Arr. from St. Albans Tune Book, 1865

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thankful Thursday

We have a rental home from which our tenants moved out last week. There is always some cleaning and spiffing up that we need to do between tenants. Some of it is pretty heavy work, in fact. I started on it last Wednesday and Andy took this week off to work on it as well. Emily pitched in too and we've got it finished except for a few optional things and keeping up the mowing while its vacant. My thankfulness today is focused on:
  • both Andy and myself being physically able to do that work (Emily is young enough to take it for granted, of course)
  • cooler, less humid weather to accomplish the outdoor work
  • having the work completed so we can enjoy some fun together while Andy is off the rest of the week
  • enjoying the abundant tomatoes which the former tenants planted and left just as they started to produce
What are you thanking God for today? Each Thursday of 2010, I'm joining Kim of The Upward Call and other friends in thanking God for His goodness to us. Thankfulness shared just multiplies the blessings. Won't you join us?


No man taketh away sins (which the law, though holy, just and good, could not take away), but He in whom there is no sin.--BEDE.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: I Heard The Voice of Jesus Say

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Come unto me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one, lay down
Thy head upon my breast."
I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad,
I found in him a resting place,
And he has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one,
Stoop down and drink, and live."
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
"I am this dark world's Light;
Look unto me, thy morn shall rise,
And all thy day be bright."
I looked to Jesus, and I found
In him my Star, my Sun;
And in that light of life I'll walk,
Till trav'ling days are done.

Horatius Bonar, 1846
Tune: Vox Dilecti, John B. Dykes, 1868

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thankful Thursday

This is the promise I am especially thankful for today:

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 8:38-39

Each Thursday of 2010, I am joining with Kim of The Upward Call and other friends in thanking God for His good gifts to us. Please join us!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Quotes From the Cottage

When we speak of God's trying men, we are not to suppose that He needs to discover by experiment what is their real character. He knows what is in them before the trial, He knows beforehand what will be the effect of the trial; but He thus makes men's characters known to themselves and to their fellowmen, for ends worthy of His own infinite wisdom, righteousness and kindness. It also deserves to be noticed that the means which God employs to prove His people are fitted to improve them. The means He employs to discover the good that is in them are calculated to increase and perfect it; the means He employs to discover the evil that is in them are calculated to lessen and destroy it.
~John Brown in Hebrews p. 521 regarding Heb. 11:17

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: When This Passing World is Done

When this passing world is done,
When has sunk yon glaring sun,
When we stand with Christ in glory,
Looking o'er life's finished story,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.

When I hear the wicked call
On the rocks and hills to fall,
When I see them start and shrink
On the fiery deluge brink,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.

When I stand before the throne,
Dressed in beauty not my own,
When I see thee as thou art,
Love thee with unsinning heart,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.

When the praise of heav'n I hear,
Loud as thunders to the ear,
Loud as many waters' noise,
Sweet as harp's melodious voice,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.

Chosen not for good in me,
Wakened up from wrath to flee,
Hidden in the Saviour's side,
By the Spirit sanctified,
Teach me, Lord, on earth to show,
By my love, how much I owe.

Robert Murray McCheyne, 1837
Tune: Mount Zion, Sir Arthur S. Sullivan, 1867