Field Stone Cottage Blog

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: Thou, Whose Almighty Word

Thou, whose almighty word
Chaos and darkness heard,
And took their flight,
Hear us, we humbly pray;
And, where the gospel's day
Sheds not its glorious ray,
Let there be light.

Thou, who didst come to bring
On thy redeeming wing
Healing and sight,
Health to the sick in mind,
Sight to the inly blind,
O now to all mankind
Let there be light.

Spirit of truth and love,
Lifegiving, holy Dove,
Speed forth thy flight;
Move o'er the waters' face,
Bearing the lamp of grace
And in earth's darkest place
Let there be light.

Holy and blessed Three,
Glorious Trinity,
Wisdom, Love, Might!
Boundless as ocean's tide,
Rolling in fullest pride
Through the world far and wide
Let there be light.

John Marriott, c. 1813; st. 4, line 1, alt.
Tune: Denbigh, Welch melody

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday

This week, we've experienced the return of normal sleep patterns! That's because there is already marked improvement in Charlie's sarcoptic mange. He is so much more comfortable and that means we are too! Thank you, Lord!

I'm also finding myself thanking God for the conviction of sin through scripture this week. Conviction of sin may seem like an odd thing to be thankful for but I want to experience the forgiveness that comes with true repentance. I want the fellowship with God that follows. I want the progressive sanctification too. I am so very thankful for what Jesus Christ has done for me!

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. ~I John 1:5-10

There are so many more good gifts from God that I am thankful for but these are the two that are at the forefront of my mind this day.

I'm joining Kim of the Upward Call and several others in posting my thankfulness each Thursday of this year. Won't you join us?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another Winter Day

Wet snow, the kind we get when its just below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, makes the prettiest pictures! Don't you think so?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: Praise Ye, Praise Ye the Lord

Praise ye, praise ye the Lord
In yonder heav'nly height;
Ye angels, all his hosts,
In joyful praise unite;
O sun and moon, declare his might,
Show forth his praise, ye stars of light.

Praise him, ye highest heav'ns,
Praise him, ye clouds that roll,
Created by his pow'r
And under his control,
Ye heavens that stand eternally,
Established by his firm decree.

Ye creatures in the sea
And creatures on the earth,
Your mighty Maker praise
And tell his matchless worth;
Praise him, ye stormy winds that blow,
Ye fire and hail, ye rain and snow.

Ye hills and mountains, praise,
Each tree and beast and bird;
Ye kings and realms of earth,
Now let your praise be heard;
By high and low, by young and old,
Be all his praise and glory told.

By all let God be praised,
For he alone is great;
Above the earth and heav'n
He reigns in glorious state;
Praise him, ye saints, who know his grace
And ever dwell before his face.

From Psalm 148, The Psalter, 1912
Tune: Columbia, Leonard Cooper Blanton, 1951

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I have so much to be thankful for today...and every day, truth be told! But today....Andy comes home! He only left on Tuesday morning but I'm so thankful that by tonight, he'll be home. If the flight is on time, he'll join Emily and me for dinner at the usual time.

I'm also thanking God for a clear diagnosis for Charlie's skin last. It appears that he has picked up sarcoptic mange from the wild foxes in our neighborhood. I've certainly enjoyed seeing those beautiful red creatures trot down the sidewalk in the past but I'll be viewing them with different eyes from now on. But I am praising God that this is a problem that has a clear-cut cure. Our fear was that Charlie would prove to be allergic to his food, his prescription food that prevents the formation of bladder stones. So believe it or not, sarcoptic mange is a "good" diagnosis for Charlie. Our nights of interrupted sleep are coming to a close in the near future, Lord willing.

Its 36 sunny degrees (Fahrenheit, that is) here in Crystal Lake, IL today and I just came back from a short walk with Charlie. It was such a pleasant walk with the edges of the snow melting and revealing the muddy grass by the driveways and sidewalks. Spring is in the air! Thank you, Lord! And thank you, Lord, too, that I could take that short walk and enjoy it without experiencing any pain in my hip! The bursitis does still cause pain at times but yesterday my orthopedic doctor gave me another cortisone shot in that hip and this one seems to be helping more than the last one. I pray it lasts.

What good gifts are you thanking our God for today? Why not join Kim at the Upward Call and several others of us who are praising Him for His provisions each Thursday of this year.

Update: Its 3:00PM now and the outdoor thermometer says 41 degrees!! Woohoo!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: Alas! And Did My Saviour Bleed

Alas! and did my Saviour bleed,
And did my Sovereign die!
Would he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I!

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree!
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide,
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker, died
For man the creature's sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While his dear cross appears;
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt mine eyes in tears.

But drops of grief can ne'er repay
The debt of love I owe;
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
'Tis all that I can do

Isaac Watts, 1707
Tune: Martyrdom, Hugh Wilson, c. 1800

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lemon Chicken Rice Soup

Here it is...the recipe for the soup I made last night. Kim and Sam liked it and so did we!

8 cups chicken broth
2 chicken flavored bouillon cubes
1/2 cup uncooked regular rice
1/2 cup thin sliced carrots
1/3 cup finely chopped green onion (The original recipe called for finely chopped celery but Andy is not too crazy about celery and I had green onion on hand so I substituted that instead.)
1/3 cup finely chopped white onion
1 1/2 cup cubed cooked chicken
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper

1. In a large pot, combine chicken broth, bouillon cubes, rice, carrots, green onion (or celery) and white onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice and vegetables are tender. Stir in chicken. Remove from heat.

2. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour. Cook one minute stirring constantly until smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in 2 cups broth mixture. Cook until slightly thickened stirring constantly.

3. In a small bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Gradually beat in lemon juice and two cups thickened broth mixture. Slowly add to large soup pot stirring constantly.

4. Heat gently until soup thickens. Do not boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Its been a beautiful sunny winter day here at the cottage! The sky is blue, blue, blue and the fresh snow from earlier in the week just sparkles. Yesterday and the day before were full of unanticipated problems, big and small...the kind of things that mark our lives this side of eternity. But they've been dealt with and today I was able to focus on the fun of having Kim and Sam join us for supper tonight. The house is clean, I've shopped and have the ingredients all prepared and in the fridge for a new recipe....Lemon Chicken Rice Soup. I'll share it, if its good.

So this afternoon, I am thanking God for His blessing of good friends to share a simple meal with; the kind of friends that feel like family sitting around the table; the kind I can try a new recipe on without trepidation.

I'm also thanking Him for His presence and His guidance and His strength as we face life's challenges, big and small.

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.~Psalm 46:1

I'm joining Kim of the Upward Call and others in giving thanks to God each Thursday of this year of 2010. Won't you join us?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Early Morning Tremblor

Charlie is still uncomfortably in the throws of this dermatitis. We got in a couple of nights of not taking him outside during the night. Instead, I was able to calm him down so we could all fall asleep again. But now we're back to getting up with him a time or two each night. I think the cold, and especially the rolling on the cold snow, helps with the itching.

But last night (or should I say "a couple of hours ago"), he became restless and got us up to take him out at 4 A.M. Andy, bless him, did the honors so I was still in bed but wide awake when there was a rumbling and the whole house shook. It made me nervous that the two of them were outside because it was similar to the sensation when a large amount of snow (we got just about one foot of new snow yesterday and into last night) slides off the aluminum roof of the cottage...but not quite. I came downstairs to meet them at the door and Andy thought it was snow coming off the other side of the cottage.

I dried Charlie off and took him into Emily's bed, his usual early morning haunt, and asked her what she felt or heard. Nothing.

We went back to bed (couldn't sleep though) for the next hour but promptly when we got up at 5AM, I checked the local news. Yes, an earthquake occurred just about 35 miles southeast of us in Sycamore, IL! 4.3 on the Richter scale! Felt as far away as Indiana and Kentucky!

I've heard that dogs have a sense of impending storms and seek shelter before they hit. Do you suppose that could have been Charlie's excuse for restlessness this morning and it wasn't the dermatitis after all? I'm hoping.

Update: The U.S. Geological Survey has downgraded the earthquake to 3.8 but determined that the epicenter was actually the village of Gilberts, IL which is about 10 miles due south of Crystal Lake, IL.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: I Belong to Jesus

I belong to Jesus;
I am not my own;
All I have and all I am,
Shall be his alone.

I belong to Jesus;
He is Lord and King,
Reigning in my inmost heart,
Over ev'rything.

I belong to Jesus;
Blessed, blessed thought!
With his own most precious blood
Has my soul been bought.

I belong to Jesus;
He has died for me;
I am his and he is mine,
Through eternity.

I belong to Jesus;
He will keep my soul,
When the deathly waters dark
Round about me roll.

I belong to Jesus;
And ere long I'll stand
With my precious Saviour there
In the glory land.

M. Fraser
Dedication, M.A. Sea

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thankful Thursday

There's nothing like losing something you once had to make you yearn for it with thankfulness. That's how I am feeling about a good night's sleep right now. Poor Charlie is suffering from some sort of skin affliction and its making him scratch and lick and bite and chew himself in an effort to relieve the itching. Its most likely an allergy of some sort and we have a really good vet who is making every effort to track down the likely culprit. In the meantime, she's tried several medications to minimize the discomfort for Charlie...and us. I really, really mean that "and us" part because we do love Charlie but also because he sleeps with Andy and me at night. And if he's not sleeping because he is so restless, then we aren't either. And there's been several "we aren't either" nights lately.

So I'm not of a mind to take those nights when we have slept well for granted. I am thankful that God in His wisdom made night and day and that He intended us to be refreshed and rested in a good night's sleep. And I am so thankful when I get it.

when you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.~Prov. 3:24

Each Thursday of this year, I am joining Kim of the Upward Call and several others in praising God with thanksgiving for His provisions to us. Why not join us?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cardamom Shortbread

I brought these cookies to our church fellowship dinner last night and Kim really liked them. They are not the really sweet kind of shortbread; more the melt-in-your-mouth buttery kind. Perfect with a nice, hot cup of Earl Grey/Irish Breakfast blend! I think I'll put them on the menu at my Tea House.

1/3 cup sugar
1 cup butter
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9 X 13 inch pan with foil so it extends over the sides. Spray foil with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine sugar and butter and beat until light and fluffy. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Dough will be crumbly. Press into the bottom of the foil-lined pan.

Bake for 24 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Cut shortbread while warm and remove from pan by lifting foil. Cool completely (about 15 minutes).

If preferred, you can make the dough in two 9 inch pie pans and cut into wedges. You may need to shorten the baking time by a few minutes.