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!