Field Stone Cottage Blog

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Our bedroom in the cottage is upstairs and our central air isn't really effective up there so we have a portable air conditioner to cool things a little further. A couple of weeks ago, that portable air conditioning unit began to make some noise and, as time went on, it became a bit more disconcerting. Earlier this week, Andy took the thing apart and determined that the bearings needed to be replaced which he did. Now I'm thanking God for not only a cool room to sleep in but a quiet one as well. And of course, my very handy husband.

What a you thanking Him for today? Each Thursday of 2010, I am joining Kim of The Upward Call and several others in praising Him for His goodness to us. Won't you join us?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: I Lay My Sins on Jesus

I lay my sins on Jesus,
The spotless Lamb of God;
He bears them all, and frees us
From the accursed load:
I bring my guilt to Jesus,
To wash my crimson stains
White in his blood most precious,
Till not a spot remains.

I lay my wants on Jesus;
All fullness dwells in him;
He heals all my diseases,
He doth my soul redeem:
I lay my griefs on Jesus,
My burdens and my cares;
He from them all releases,
He all my sorrows shares.

I rest my soul on Jesus,
This weary soul of mine;
His right hand me embraces,
I on his breast recline.
I love the Name of Jesus,
Immanuel, Christ, the Lord;
Like fragrance on the breezes
His Name abroad is poured.

I long to be like Jesus,
Meek, loving, lowly, mild;
I long to be like Jesus,
The Father's holy Child;
I long to be with Jesus
Amid the heav'nly throng,
To sing with saints his praises,
To learn the angels' song.

Horatius Bonar, 1848
Tune: Miriam, Joseph P. Holbrook, 1865

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm thanking God for my dear husband, Andy, today. Its his birthday so it seems an appropriate time to thank God for the good gift He's given me in my loving husband. Here's a snap of him holding his personal record small mouth bass, caught on this year's vacation to the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

I'm joining with Kim of The Upward Call and other friends in posting my thankful thoughts each Thursday of 2010. Won't you join us?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
6 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
2 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup blueberries

In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs and melted butter.

In another bowl, mix together white flour, buckwheat flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.

Pour the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and stir until the two mixtures are just incorporated.

Stir in blueberries. Or do as I do and just sprinkle some blueberries onto each pancake as you cook them.

Heat griddle to medium hot and melt some butter on it or pour a little oil on it. Spoon batter on griddle to make 4-6 inch pancakes. (Here's where I sprinkle on the blueberries.) Flip the pancakes once bubbles form on them and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Serve with butter and real maple syrup and some bacon on the side. Mmmm....yummy! This recipe serves about four people.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: Come, Ye Souls by Sin Afflicted

Come, ye souls by sin afflicted,
Bowed with fruitless sorrow down;
By the broken law convicted,
Through the cross behold the crown;
Look to Jesus;
Mercy flows through him alone.

Take his easy yoke and wear it;
Love will make obedience sweet;
Christ will give you strength to bear it,
While his wisdom guides your feet
Safe to glory,
Where his ransomed captives meet.

Blessed are the eyes that see him,
Blest the ears that hear his voice;
Blessed are the souls that trust him,
And in him alone rejoice:
His commandments
Then become their happy choice.

Sweet as home to pilgrim's weary,
Light to newly opened eyes,
Or full springs in deserts dreary,
Is the rest the cross supplies:
All who taste it
Shall to rest immortal rise.

Joseph Swain, 1792
Tune: St. Austin, Arr. from a Gregorian chant for the Bristol Tune Book, 1876

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I've been working on my study of Hebrews this afternoon. The passage for examination next Monday is Hebrews 11:11-12:

11By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

I've been dipping into the related Genesis passages (primarily Gen. 17:17-19 and Gen. 18:10-14 but several others as well) but I've also spent quite a bit of time in Romans 4. These are the verses in Romans 4 that are spurring my thankful thoughts this afternoon:

23The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, 24but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

I am so very thankful for that gift of belief, freely given to me by our gracious God through no merit of my own, that leads to my righteous justification before Him! In fact, I'm awestruck by it!

Kim of The Upward Call and several others (including me) are praising God with our thoughts of thanksgiving each Thursday of 2010. Won't you join us?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Write Like...Who?

I saw this at Kim from Hiraeth's who saw it at Rebecca's.

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I'm not sure if I should consider this a compliment or not.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: Jehovah's Perfect Law

Jehovah's perfect law
Restores the soul again;
His testimony sure
Gives wisdom unto men;
The precepts of the Lord are right,
And fill the heart with great delight.

The Lord's commands are pure,
They light and joy restore;
Jehovah's fear is clean,
Enduring evermore;
His statutes, let the world confess,
Are wholly truth and righteousness.

They are to be desired
Above the finest gold;
Than honey from the comb
More sweetness far they hold;
With warnings they thy servant guard,
In keeping them is great reward.

His errors who can know?
Cleanse me from hidden stain;
Keep me from wilful sins,
Nor let them o'er me reign;
And then I upright shall appear
And be from great transgressions clear.

When thou dost search my life,
May all my thoughts within
And all the words I speak
Thy full approval win.
O Lord, thou art a Rock to me,
And my Redeemer thou shalt be.

From Psalm 19:7-14
The Psalter, 1912
Tune: Haddam, Arr. by Lowell Mason, 1822

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful that I can take 40 minute walks every morning and not experience pain. Last week I would have said that the bursitis that plagued my left hip over the last year was gone, in fact. Then I mowed the lawn on Friday for about an hour. (Emily took it over for the second half of the lawn...I'm thankful for her help too!) But I paid for my part of the mowing over the weekend. Still, my hip is so much better and I can do so many things that I couldn't do just a few months ago. And its already recovering from the lawn episode! Thank you, God!

Each Thursday of 2010, I joining with Kim of The Upward Call and many others in praising God for the good gifts that He gives us. Won't you share yours?

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Fourth of July Visitor

We had an uninvited guest last evening. I was emptying the dishwasher about 8:30 PM and thinking about heading to bed pretty soon afterwards. As I straightened up to put some dishes in the cabinet, I caught a glimpse of something black out of the corner of my eye. It was about eye-level and at first I thought it was a bird and then quickly thought it looked more like a butterfly. But all black?

By now you may have guessed what it really was...a bat! It settled gently to the kitchen floor a few feet from me and I yelled to Andy who was in the basement. He came up and saw it before returning to the basement for a container to throw over it. I headed down the hall to Emily's room and closed the door. I wish I had just tossed a dish towel over the thing before that though, because when Andy came back up the bat was gone. Well, not really gone. Just not on the kitchen floor any more. So he went back downstairs to look up on his computer how to find a bat in your house. Emily did the same thing in her room. Then the two of them went bat-hunting while Charlie and I hunkered down in Emily's room and read a bit.

With flashlights in hand and a container to throw over it (as well as a fishing net in case it flew), they started searching. Emily found it under the valance over the doors to the screen porch chittering away. The two of them moved in and captured it, took it outdoors and set it on the ground. It flew away, hopefully to eat some more mosquitoes. Case closed and we all went to bed in peace...Crystal Lake's Fourth of July fireworks are scheduled for tonight.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday's Hymn: Jesus, Master, Whose I Am

Jesus, Master, whose I am,
Purchased thine alone to be
By thy blood, O spotless Lamb,
Shed so willingly for me,
Let my heart be all thine own,
Let me live to thee alone.

Jesus, Master, I am thine:
Keep me faithful, keep me near;
Let thy presence in me shine
All my homeward way to cheer.
Jesus, at thy feet I fall,
O be thou my all in all.

Jesus, Master, whom I serve,
Though so feebly and so ill,
Strengthen hand and heart and nerve
All thy bidding to fulfil.
Open thou mine eyes to see
All the work thou hast for me.

Lord, thou needest not, I know,
Service such as I can bring;
Yet I long to prove and show
Full allegiance to my King.
Thou an honor art to me:
Let me be a praise to thee.

Frances R. Havergal, 1865
Tune: Wells, Adapted from Dimitri Bortnianski, 1752-1825

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful for cooler temperatures and low humidity this week! We had a run of very hot and humid weather the previous couple of weeks so this is welcome relief and I'm praising God for it!

What are you praising Him for this week? Each Thursday of 2010, I'm joining Kim of The Upward Call and several others in sharing thanksgiving to our good God. Please join us.

P.S. Happy Canada Day, Kim and Rebecca!

A Biography of Louisa May Alcott

Little Women has been one of my all-time favorite books ever since I first read it at about age 12 but I'd never read a biography of Louisa May Alcott until now. I knew that Little Women was loosely based on Alcott's own family and that she had never married. Particularly because of the way Pilgrim's Progress is interwoven in the story, I'd always imagined Louisa May Alcott as a sweet Christian spinster.

Harriet Reisen is the author of Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women. Her well researched, well-written biography reveals a very different image from the one I've held all these years. Louisa May was the second daughter of Bronson Alcott, a prominent member of the circle of Transcendentalists of New England in the nineteenth century that also included Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. She was very much affected by the thinking of these men which seems to be much the same as that which is now referred to as New Age. Louisa May in fact referred to herself as a Bhuddist and espoused a belief in reincarnation.

Bronson Alcott never successfully supported his family and this also affected Louisa greatly. She was a determined and spirited child and made up her mind early that she would support the family as soon as possible. She became wealthy through the writing of Little Women and her other children's fiction but she wrote in that genre for the money and not for the love of it. Indeed, she was quite cranky and impatient with the young girls who comprised the Little Women Clubs that sprang up after the publication of her most famous novel. Her true writing passion was in pulp fiction which she wrote under the pseudonym A. M. Barnard.

Never really healthy in her adult life, it is postulated that Louisa May Alcott suffered from Lupus as well as manic-depressive illness. Perhaps this accounts for her bad temper as well as her addiction to opiates which was apparently not uncommon among women of the time.

Despite the fact that Harriet Reissen effectively destroyed my fond and long-held image of the author of Little Women, I am glad that I read Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women. But before you read it, do be warned that your mental picture of this classic author may never be the same.