Wednesday, November 30, 2005

JE's caveat

Jonathan Edwards (JE from now on) began his resolutions with this caveat (or explanation to prevent a misinterpretation):


In it, he admits several things which we would do well to remember as well.

He realizes that he is unable to do ANYTHING without God's help, not just the keeping of the resolutions.

He needs the enabling of God's grace to help him keep them, and seeks it.

He realizes that his resolutions must be agreeable to His will, and

His keeping of the resolutions must be for Christ's sake.

Wish I'd said that!

If I remember correctly, I think I've already "wished I'd said" something Kim, from the Upward Call, said but today's post on anti-intellectualism is just too good not to bring to your attention. If you follow the links in her post, you'll find some more good reading on the subject, too.

Tis the Season

I've been thinking about resolutions. I've been making some resolutions lately, some I've kept better than others. With the holidays here, some are simply resolutions to get things done and be more organized. (Like really bake all the Christmas cookies I imagine I will bake and not let the yard "pile up with doggy doo" once it gets snowy and cold). I've resolved to entertain friends more this Christmas and be less concerned about how well the house is decorated or how well the table is set or how well the food is prepared and more concerned about just having fun and enjoying the time spent with friends. I've resolved to make this Christmas special for my son, John, who will be spending his last Christmas with us before he gets married and begins to start his own family traditions.

But not all my resolutions have been organizational. Some have been spiritual. I've resolved to spend the month of December meditating upon my life in Christ and how it is to be spent to the glory of God. To help me think this through I will be reading through Jonathan Edwards Resolutions.

Maybe you'd like to join me. I'll be reading through all 70 on his list today and then daily focusing on one or two and sharing my thoughts and some insight from some of JE's other writings as the month unfolds and spills into the New Year. Maybe you'd like to share your thoughts here as well.


God's Minute

November 30

I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever--John 6:51

WE render Thee grateful thanks, Thou source of every blessing, for the rest of the past night under the mighty shadow of Thy wings, for the daily bread of Thy providing, and for new opportunities of welcome service, each in our appointed calling. We thank Thee for Thy revelation in Jesus Christ and for "the bread of life" so abundantly provided in Thy Holy Word for our spiritual sustenance. O make us truly mindful of all Thy many blessings, and let our lives show forth Thy praise. We pray Thee for grace to employ the hours of this day aright. Grant us strength of body, mind and soul to perform our tasks acceptably in Thy sight. Shield us from harm and give us victory in the hour of temptation. Sanctify our homes and make them nurseries of Thy kingdom. May Thy Spirit rest upon all institutions of learning. Remember in mercy the laborers in the harvest fields abroad. Let Thy name be hallowed and Thy will be done in our homeland. Breathe Thy quickening Spirit upon Thy Church. Grant each of us grace to bear faithful testimony in word and deed to the saving power of the cross. And when we have finished our allotted task here below, receive us into that perfect world above with Thee and the innumerable multitude of those who have come out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. We ask it all in the name of our blessed Redeemer.


C.J. Sodergren, A.M., D.D.,
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Silly girls

You should have seen the digging and rearranging and pillow pushing they did to get it "just right."

Kathy's 7/7's

Left to right: my brother,Kevin, me, and my sister,Kathy

Kathy doesn't have her own blog (yet--but I'm working on her) so here are her responses:

Seven things to do before I die:

1. See my girls marry godly men
2. Read all the books I want to read!
3. Fix up the back porch!!!!
4. Retire (fat chance)
5. Take a trip someplace exotic with my mother and sister
6. Go to Austria with Mike
7. Clean off my desk at the end of the day (just once!!)

Seven things I cannot do:

1. Keep my house spotless
2. Read all the books I want to read!
3. Clean up my desk at the end of the day
4. Play the flute like I used to
5. Play piano at all!
6. Type using the right fingers
7. Stop loving classical music

Seven things that attract me to my husband:

1. He so much fun
2. He is a wonderful, wonderful father
3. He spoils me
4. He loves to cook
5. He loves my mother and sibs and all "theirs"
6. He always wants to spend all his time with me
7. He loves his parents

Seven things I say most often:

1. "Help! I need someone tall"
2. "I've got to lose some weight"
3. "You've got to be kidding!"
4. "Go Bucks!"
5. "Yesss!"
6. "They're trying to drive me crazy"
7. "What day is it? Saturday?"

Seven books (or a series of books) I love:

1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hobbit
3. Pride & Prejudice
4. Sherlock Holmes
5. The Harry Potter series
6. Moon and Sixpence
7. Tale of Two Cities

Seven Movies I’d Watch Over and Over Again:

1. The Princess Bride
2. Scrooge
3. Waking Ned Divine
4. Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings
5. The Quiet Man
6. Almost Any Musical
7. The Stand

Seven people I’d like to tag:

1. Meghan
2. Katie
3. Mike
4. Rhonda
5. Natalie
6. Roger
7. Cindy

Tag, You're It!

I have never participated in a meme, but it looks like fun and I do like to read them, so when I saw an open invitation at the Upward Call, I decided to have a go at it.

This one has seven lists of seven

Seven things to do before I die:

1. Grow in grace and truth
2. Visit Ireland
3. Face death with confidence and peace
4. See my boys happily married to godly women
5. Pray with my grandchildren
6. Teach my granddaughters to cook
7. Open a bed and breakfast

Seven things I cannot do:

1. Read a map
2. Give up on the people I love
3. Keep houseplants alive
4. Relax when the house is a mess
5. Chat on the phone
6. Keep a straight face
7. Dance

Seven things that attract me to my husband:

1. He makes me laugh every day
2. He remembers the little things
3. He is very handsome
4. He loves my cooking
5. He is patient
6. He is growing in the Lord
7. He loves our children and prays for them

Seven things I say most often:

1. “Hurry Up!” (same thing as “go potty” to my dogs)
2. “Get down!”
3. “What a good girl!”
4. “Go get in your bed!”
5. “Drop it.”
6. “Wait”
7. “Sit” (yes, I do talk to my dogs—they are voice activated)
(Please don’t think I only talk to my dogs; I talk to my cats and all the people in my house, too, but I don’t say the same things repeatedly to them as often as the dogs and the things I repeat to them might embarrass them—and me!)

Seven books (or a series of books) I love:

1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
3. God’s Minute by L.M. Cross
4. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
5. Knowing God by J.I. Packer
6. The Complete Works of Jonathan Edwards
7. True Spirituality by Francis Schaeffer

Seven Movies I’d Watch Over and Over Again:

1. The Princess Bride
2. A Christmas Story
3. Waking Ned Divine
4. Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings
5. Citizen Kane
6. Elf
7. Milo and Otis

Seven people I’d like to tag:

1. My sister, Kathy
2. Allyson
3. Donna
4. My reader in New Mexico
5. Tulip Girl
6. my hubby (he’d never do it online. . .)
7. Anyone who would like to play along

If you don't have a blog and would like to play along, [post your answers in the comments (STRIKE THAT)]. . .if you have a blog and you decide to play, post a link in the comments and I'll move it to the post in an update. [email me your answers--it's probably more than the comments can accomodate]

UPDATE: You can read Kim's list at The Upward Call here.

Here's Allyson's list. She reminded me of a movie I missed--Enchanted April which reminded me of another movie I forgot--Babette's Feast. Oh, how could I forget that one? It's one of my very favorites. If you haven't seen it, you should. If you're a guy--hang with it. . .it's not just a chick flick; you'll like it.

Donna's list is up on Quiet Life.

God's Minute

November 29

He ever liveth to make intercession for them.--Hebrews 7:25

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, because of Thy good hand upon us in mercy, we have been spared during another night. Help us to trust in Thee, to have no will but Thy will, and to desire to be only what Thou wouldst have us be. We pray that Thou wilt show us how large is Thy pity, how great is Thy love, and how infinite is Thy goodness; give us to feel that Thou hast called us with a holy calling; that Thou hast put us here to do Thy pleasure, and hereafter to enjoy Thee forever. Breathe into us the spirit of pryaer and teachableness, and enable us to give earnest heed to the truths taught in Thy Word. We thank Thee for Thy holy Word, for Thy Church, and for all the ordinances of Thy house, and for the way of salvation through Christ. We bless Thee, our Heavenly Father, for all Thy gifts, but above all for Thine unspeakable gift, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. We rejoice in the assurance that He is now interceding for us. May the weary and heavy-laden come unto Thee and find rest for their souls. We pray that Thou wilt send forth laborers into Thy harvest. Be Thou to all Thine own as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Speedily fill the whole earth with Thy glory. Make us all, O Christ, joyful in hope, patient in suffering, active in service and abounding in love. We ask all these blessings in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Saviour.


Robert Stuart MacArthur, D.D.,
Boston, Massachusetts

Monday, November 28, 2005

Show and Tell

My sister, Kathy, embroidered this beautiful rendition of Thorin's Map, from The Hobbit several years ago. I regret that my camera skills were not able to capture it better, but hope that you can see just how gorgeous it is. It really is exceptional.

God's Minute

November 28

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. . . For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.--Hebrews 11:8,10

OUR Father, Who art in Heaven, we thank Thee for Thy presence in our hearts and in our home, for Thy loving kindness and Thy tender mercies. We desire to give Thee the largest possible place in our life, that Thine ideals for us may be realized and that we may fulfill our little part in Thy great plan. So humbly pray Thee to pardon anything in our lives that hinders our fellowship with Thee or our usefulness to our fellow men, and correct in our characters whatever is not Christlike. Teach us to trust Thee for all our needs, both of soul and body.

Defend us in the time of temptation, and help us to realize that we are citizens of the spiritual kingdom. Bless all our fellow-disciples the world around. Empower Thy Church that she may win great victories over evil, and at last receive us to be with Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Rev. W.O. Rogers,
Terre Haute, Indiana

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

You just have to laugh . . .

We're packing for our trip and we've got a whole bag designated for electronic gizmos and chargers--phone chargers, car chargers, Palm chargers, camera battery chargers. . .ah, ain't technology great? :)

Buster before and after. . .

This post was Sam's idea; he found an old picture of Buster we took on the day we brought him home. That sweet little kitty has morphed into Garfield!

To the readers of God's Minute

Well, since we'll be traveling to Ohio for a few days over Thanksgiving weekend, I got myself organized yesterday and got the next few days of God's Minute ready as drafts so that I could sneak over to my sister's house and quickly post them each day that I'm gone. I thought that the posts would have the date they were actually published on them, but today's post shows up as if it had been posted yesterday.

So you if you've been reading the daily prayers, you may have to look around a little bit to find them, but they'll be there at some point each day while I'm gone.

UPDATE: Looks like the prayers are stacking up under the Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad post. . .

Monday, November 21, 2005

God's Minute

November 27

He ever liveth to make intercession for them.--Hebrews 7:25

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, because of Thy good hand upon us in mercy, we have been spared during another night. Help us to trust in Thee, to have no will but Thy will and to desire to be only what Thou wouldst have us be. We pray that Thou wilt show us how large is Thy pity, how great is Thy love, and how infinite is Thy goodness; give us to feel that Thou hast called us with a holy calling; that Thou hast put us here to do Thy pleasure, and hereafter to enjoy Thee forever. Breathe into us the spirit of prayer and teachableness, and enable us to give earnest heed to the truths taught in Thy Word. We thank Thee for Thy holy Word, for Thy Church and for all the ordinances of Thy house, and for the way of salvation through Christ. We bless Thee, our Heavenly Father, for all Thy gifts, but above all for Thiine unspeakable gift, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. We rejoice in the assurance that He is now interceding for us. May the weary and heavy-laden come unto Thee and find rest unto their souls. We pray that Thou wilt send forth laborers into Thy harvest. Be Thou to all Thine own as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Speedily fill the whole earth with Thy glory. Make us all, O Christ, joyful in hope, patient in suffering, active in service and abounding in love. We ask all these blessings in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Saviour.


Robert Stewart MacArthur, D.D.,
Boston, Massachusetts

God's Minute

November 26

I will, therefore, that men pray everywhere.--1 Timothy 2:8

OUR Father, we are Thy children by faith in the Redeemer. We are Thy children when we are obedient and Thou art pleased; we are Thy children when we are wayward and in grief Thou dost chasten us. We know that our sins are wholly displeasing to Thee, and they are painful to us. For Jesus' sake, forgive our sins.

Accept our deepest gratitude for Thy tender mercies in all our past, for the promise of Thy grace in all our needs, for the assurance of Thy presence always.

Bless us in the duties to which we have been called. Deliver us from the fear of man. Keep us from measuring our duties by the conduct of others, and help us to be great in Thy sight. Let us remember that there are but twelve hours in the day, and the night cometh. Help us to see that the great questions are issues of eternity, and may we be kept in the love of God.

Guide, O Jehovah, in the affairs of state; bless all movements and men that promote our Redeemer's Kingdom; and give Thy holy benediction upon the homes wherein our loved ones dwell. In Jesus' name.


Rev. J.M. Dawson,
Waco, Texas

God's Minute

November 25

Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us.--Ephesians 5:2

OUR Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for having mercifully kept us in health and strength, and for filling our lives with so much of comfort and happiness.

We pray for each one of those near and dear to us, and we beseech that Thou wilt keep them, and defend them from all evil. Enrich them with the blessing of Thy Holy Spirit.

Likewise we pray for all Thy disciples of every creed, wherever they may be, and that Thou wilt bring all those now separated from Thee to a vital knowledge of Thy goodness to them, and to a desire to become Thy humble followers.

As we pray "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," so, O Lord, may we daily strive by all our acts to do all that we can for the upbuilding and extension of Thy kingdom on earth, and may our lives show to all men that we are Thine.

May we honor Thee by striving to obey Thy command to do unto others as we would have that they should do unto us, and so bring men to acknowledge Thee as their Lord and Saviour.


Alba B. Johnson,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 package Ocean Spray Cranberries (fresh or frozen)

Bring water and sugar to boil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add cranberries and bring back to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes or until the cranberries burst.

While the cranberries are simmering, finely chop one rib of celery and one red or green apple. Grate the peel of one tangerine, using the coarser side of the grater. (this will be pretty thick--not like zest). After grating, juice the tangerine and toss the apples and celery in the juice to stop the apples from browning.

Once berries are ready, stir in apples, celery, juice and grated tangerine. Add a couple of handfuls of walnuts and let cool.

Best if made 2 or three days before Thanksgiving. Keeps well in fridge for up to a week.

God's Minute

November 24

Evening and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice. Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous be be moved.--Psalm 55:17

OUR Father in Heaven, look upon us, we beseech Thee, in Thine infinite love and compassion. Dwell Thou with us, that being molded by Thy good Spirit, we may have fellowship with Thee as Thy children. Help us at all times to trust Thee. Appoint for us what Thou willest, and make us ready to receive with thankfulness whatsoever seemeth good to Thee concerning us. Go with us in every mission on which Thou art pleased to send us, and in Thy service we may find rest.

Lighten our darkness, we entreat Thee, that we may behold Thy face, and in Thy tender mercy, do Thou temper the storm lest our weak faith fail. Forgive our sins, and day by day deliver us from their power. We commit all our loved ones to Thy keeping. Do Thou watch over them and bless them. And as Thou givest us a taste of Thy joy in loving our friends, lead us into the fullness of the joy of loving all whom Thou lovest, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


William Farquharson, D.D.,
Agincourt, Ontario, Canada

God's Minute

November 23

Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.--John 16:24

O GOD, our Father! We worship Thy name, and bless Thee for Thyself. We acknowledge Thee to be the source and stay of our lives. We are Thy creatures. Thou wilt not leave us to suffer eternal want; Thou wilt not leave us to lack for daily bread. We are Thy children; we believe ourselves descended from Thee. O Grant that we may not plead Thy Fatherhood in vain! Let us not stand either as aliens or orphans, but as the heirs of God through promise. Give us, we beseech Thee, Thy Holy Spirit, that He may perfectly reveal to us Jesus Christ the Son. Give us to know Him, that we may abide in Him, and that His Word may abide in us. May neither prosperity nor the enticements of the world wean our thoughts and faith from Him. Pardon our sins and cleanse our hearts, that we may become a habitation of God through the Spirit; that Christ may dwell in us and we in Him. Guide and direct us in our intercourse with men. May our words and influence become a savor of life unto life. Show us how we may help to bring Thy Kingdom upon the earth. Admonish us in the days of health, nor forsake us in sickness and the hour of death. When our change shall come, give us to dwell forever in the house of Thy Fatherhood in Heaven, through the merit and grace of Jesus Christ Thy Son.


Horace M. DuBose, D.D.,
Nashville, Tennessee

God's Minute

November 22

Ye that fear the Lord, praise Him.--Psalm 22:23

HELP us, O God, this day to recognize ourselves as Thy children. May we call to mind and refresh ourselves with the teachings of Thy servant who declared that our birth is a forgetting; that "the soul that rises with us, our life's star, hath had elsewhere its setting, and cometh from afar." May we remember that we come from God, who is our home, and may we mourn the fact that we have fogotten the Imperial Palace whence we come and the glories we have known. May it be in our hearts to thank Thee, O Lord, that there is something in each of us which the weights and the frosts of earth cannot suppress, with lives as the embers of primeval fires; those high instincts, those first affections--shadowy recollections which are the master light of all our seeing; a primal sympathy, a faith that looks through death.

We thank Thee, O Lord, for the seasons of calm weather, when we have sight of that immortal sea over which we voyaged to this world, and back over which again, when the work of life is done, we shall travel to our eternal home. In full knowledge of Thy way, Thy truth, Thy life, as declared through Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, may we live to serve Thee every day of our lives.


James W. Lee, D.D.,
St. Louis, Missouri

True Confessions

I could never be a plumber.

We live in an 85 year old bungalow. I love our home. It's charming with it's hardwood floors, crown molding, built in bookcases, open floor plan. It reminds me of a hobbit hole; the living room, dining room and kitchen are set in a straight line from the front door, the bedrooms open to the right (no hallways) and the best room is on the left hand side, a beautiful sunroom with thirteen windows adorned with window boxes filled with impatiens in the summer.

So by now you're wondering, what does this have to do with plumbing? Those of you who have ever lived in an old house have already figured that out.

With the charm of an older home comes the quirks of an older home, usually in the form of plumbing problems, electrical idiosycracies, water in the basement, or birds in the attic. In this house we've had all the above, except the birds, along with a few other interesting "character traits" and challenges that make up the personality of this old house.

This morning the challenge was the bathtub. It wouldn't drain. So I went down to the basement and brought up the plumber's snake (everyone who has an old house has a plumber's snake) and cleaned it out. Yuck.

I could never be a plumber.

A quilt story

The year I was pregnant with our youngest, Sam, I was still doing classroom teaching. My best friend, Robin, and I were co-teaching a morning Pre-K class, and one day, while we were taking the kids across to the playground, I whispered to Robin that I had had an ultrasound the day before and my OB/GYN had told us that he was 99% sure we were going to have a girl this time. I hadn't planned on broadcasting the news, but one of my students, a little girl named Morgan, had overheard us and made it her mission in life to tell every 5 year old on the playground that "Mrs. S is going to have a baby girl!"

The whole class had so much fun with the whole "having a baby scenario" that year. It was a constant source of anticipation and excitement for the children, and for us as teachers.

When at last the day drew near for Sam to be born, the mothers of the preschoolers organized a baby shower for me. It was so much fun to see what those 5 year olds picked out as presents for the baby girl. That could be a post in itself, but this post is about quilts, so I'll get back to the subject at hand.

After I had opened all the children's presents, one of the mothers brought in a big present from the hallway. I can still remember the kids sitting on the circle with these happy, excited, expectant faces. They knew what was in the box.

When I opened it, there was a beautiful handmade baby quilt with ruffles and lace. It was so sweet, so pink, so girly! I promised the children that I would be bringing my baby home from the hospital wrapped in the pink quilt and we'd take lots of pictures.

Imagine our surprise when our little Paige Aileen was born and he wasn't a girl! We scrambled for a boy's name (Sam is named after my maternal grandfather) and thoroughly enjoyed the surprise. Sam left the hospital wrapped in a beautiful pink baby quilt and of course, pictures were taken.

But once we got Sam home, I began to wonder. What should we do about the pink quilt? It was a handmade gift of love from one of my sweet preschool moms. But dare I keep it? Could I return it to her without offending her? Should I just tuck it away and keep it for a future granddaughter? I struggled with it for a couple of days and asked advice from friends and family.

In the end, I wrote a letter to the quilt's maker, telling the story of the quilt (because all quilts have stories, you know) in the form of a children's story and then returned the quilt with the story and the hope that the next time there was a little girl born into their family, she would give the quilt along with a copy of the story to the new little baby.

Every quilt has a story. Do you have any quilt stories you would like to share?

God's Minute

November 21

Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.--Matthew 5:13-16

OUR Saviour and our Intercessor, Thou camest into the world not to be mininsered unto, but minister, and to give Thy life a ransom for many. Thou didst go about doing good. Looking upon the young man, Thou didst love him.

Thou didst weep over Jerusalem. In the spirit of Thy love and sacrifice for lost souls, inflame our hearts with a sacred passion for the redemption of men. O Thou, the sinners' Christ, pour upon us a tender and undying yearning to save precious souls! Give us a greater zeal than our fathers had. May we take no neighboring saint for our standard, but dwell with our God for power.


Arthur S. Phelps, D.D.,
Waterville, Maine

A photo of Dr. Phelps when he served as pastor of the First Baptist Church of San Franscisco from 1920-21.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

God's Minute

November 20

But it shall come to pass that at evening time it shall be light.--Zechariah 14:7

WE speak to Thee, O Lord, our Father, not as aliens and strangers, but as children of the household. Thou hast given unto us many and priceless tokens of Thy favor. We have felt the touch of Thy hand upon our head and the joy of Thy benediction in our heart. Cause Thy face to shine upon the dark places through which we may be called to pass this day and may the clouds be lifted; or, if the darkness be better for us according to Thy wisdom and Thy will, then be Thy promises a glorious beacon and Thy fidelity a star, and may we be made to feel that it is better to hold on to Thy hand in the dark than to walk alone in the light. If we are not all that Thou dost intend us to be; if we are not in harmony with Thee; if we want for ourselves, and not for others; if our service be the hollow service of habit or the shallow service of display, show us how we are disappointing Thee, and starving ourselves, and robbing our fellows, and putting far off the one divine event toward which the whole creation moves, the Kingdom of God in human hearts and the union of man in the bonds of righteousness and peace. Especially regard the unsaved. Those who touch us on every side, whose hearts are kept back from Thee. May our lives be so clean and so true that God's cause may ever have a witness and an evangel in the influence we daily exert.

John H. Wiley, Ph.D., S.T.D.,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Saturday, November 19, 2005

God's Minute

November 19

Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.--Romans 6:18

HEAVENLY FATHER, we thank Thee for the rest which has come to our bodies in sleep. During the long hours of the night Thou hast been watching over us. Thou art always mindful of us, not only in the night, but also in the workaday. Help us, dear Father, to be as mindful of Thee as Thou are thoughtful of us. Forbid that we forget our God. May we not become so occupied with worldly affairs that we have no time or place for Thee.

As we talk to Thee, our sins rise like mountains from the deep. We are ashamed of our weaknesses. We confess everthing, and plead for Thy forgiveness. Leave us not in our humiliation, but take us by the hand and lift us up. Give us the assurance that our sins are pardoned, and help us to live this day as the blessed Jesus did every day.

We pray for the discouraged and distressed; Lord, give them cheer. We pray for all the people who are liviing in darkness; Lord, give them light. We pray for those who fight against themselves, against each other and against God; Lord, give them peace. We ask it all in the name of Jesus, for Thy glory and for our good.

Luther E. Todd, D.D.,
St. Louis, Missouri

Friday, November 18, 2005

More Quilts

This one is called Sukey's Choice.

This one is made from flannels. I love flannel checks.

Here's a close up.

The next one is my own pattern. I named it Kentucky Burley after a tobacco patch near our home in KY that, as a displaced Northener, I found endlessly fascinating. The tobacco grown in KY is called burley. I set the patches in rows to give the idea of the rows of tobacco in the field. The size of the project reflects the size of the patch. Most tobacco patches in KY are, well, patches. They are small, family owned, hand planted (called "setting the tobacco" and hand harvested. The white half-square triangles represent a stage in the growth of tobacco when it "heads up" and forms a flower. These flowers are ruthlessly removed in a process called "topping." The brown half-square triangles represent the harvested tobacco leaves, which are cut by hand and gathered together on sharp, pointed stakes. The stakes are then hung up to dry in drafty barns.

Tobacco is a huge part of the culture and economy of south central Kentucky.

For anyone who is interested, here are some facts about the tobacco industry in KY.

Kentucky is comprised primarily of small family farms that have been handed down for generations. Currently Kentucky possesses the fourth largest number of farms in the United States, with approximately 59,000 of Kentucky's 88,000 farms growing tobacco. Kentucky has more farms growing tobacco than 37 states have total farms.

Across the eight state burley belt (which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Missouri) over 250,000 farms possess quotas, with almost 75% of these quotas being one acre or less in size. Consolidation of quotas has occurred, but the latest census data reveal that the average tobacco farm in Kentucky grows 4.5 acres of tobacco. Ninety percent of Kentucky tobacco farms produce less than 10 acres of tobacco and Kentucky, by far, has the largest tobacco farms of any burley-producing state.

Overall, tobacco is produced in 119 out of Kentucky's 120 counties, generating sales of $800-$900 million annually, which translates into about 40% of the net cash return from ag sales in Kentucky.

excerpted from Testimony Before the
U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

God's Minute

November 18

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.--Ephesians 6:18

WE COME before Thee, our Father and our God, to worship, to praise Thy name, and to thank Thee for Thy great mercy and Thy many blessings. We confess our sins, but we come with boldness to Thy throne of grace, for our trust is in Him Who is our Advocate and our Mediator. We pray that Thou wilt show to each one of us Thy will for this day, and help us to do it, not going in our own selfish and sinful ways. O Lord, grant that Thy will may be done more and more by all men, and that Jesus may not only be given a place in the throne room of our hearts, but may we let Him be seated on the throne and crown Him Lord of all. Our Father, we ask that Thy Holy Spirit may be our comforter, our guide and our helper this day. May we let our light so shine today--in the home, on the street, at work or at play--that others may be drawn to Him Who is the Light of the World. We pray that it may be our earnest desire to know Christ better, and to make Him known. Help us to watch and be faithful, so when He comes He may find us with lamps trimmed and burning. And all we ask is in His own blessed name.


Rev. J.L. Read,
Little Rock, Arkansas

From the hyperlinked article: "He was a quiet consistent Christian man."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Calling all Quilters!

If you like looking at quilts, check out this!

Many of these are world class quilts--the variety in style, type, and color will delight you! Set it as a slideshow and get ready to be wow-ed.

A Stitch in Time. . .

This is one of my favorite quilts. (I had no idea it was hanging so crookedly until I photographed it!)

It's called "Tennessee Waltz". I made it when we lived in KY. It hangs in our office where I can see it everyday.

Kim in On, and anyone else who'd like to share, (Kathy and Anne Marie, hint, hint) I'd like to see some of your quilts. Post it on your blog and send me an email and I'll link it here, or send me a picture and I'll post it here.


Donna, of Quiet Life has posted some pictures of her quilts at her blog. Go and check them out!

Randi, of I have to say has posted a picture of her Bear's Claw quilt. Her quilt has a story; one that all of us quilters can relate to! Don't miss it!

God's Minute

November 17

Praise the Lord, call upon His name.--Isaiah 12:4

ALMIGHTY GOD, our Heavenly Father, inWhom we live and move and have our being, from Thy kind hand comes down every good and perfect gift; and we humbly thank Thee for all Thy loving kindness to us.

We come before Thee confessing our sins, for which we ask Thy forgiveness. Bless us in our bodies and our spirits, which are Thine. Grant us food and strength and clothing and shelter as we need. And give us grace to know and do Thy holy will. Make the path of duty plain before us; keep us from temptation and from sin, enabling us to glorify Thee upon the earth.

Bless, too, all our loved ones whom, in the arms of our prayer, we would bring before Thee. Heal any who are sick, comfort the sorrowful, and strengthen any who are faltering; grant them each one Thy favor, in which is life; Thy loving kindness, which is better than life.

Remember graciously the community in which we dwell, in all its interests temporal and spiritual. Prosper Thy Church among us, and give success to its work. Bless our country, and make us that happy people whose God is the Lord. Send out Thy light and Thy truth, and hasten the coming of Thy Kingdom.

In Jesus' name.


Thomas H. Law, D.D.,
Spartanburg, South Carolina

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Reflections on Peter

I've been doing Today's Bible Reading from Bible Gateway for awhile.

Today we started 2nd Peter.

I've always liked Peter. Of all the Apostles, I think he's the easiest to relate to. He was bold, brash, and enthusiastic. He didn't always think before speaking. He wasn't always faithful, but he always had faith. He was not afraid to be transparent before Christ.

When we read through the Gospels and the Book of Acts, we can see Peter growing in "the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, our Lord." We can virtually see him changing from the one who betrayed Christ into the man who could stand up on the day of Pentecost and boldly proclaim, "Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."

We can see ourselves in Peter's weaknesses and failings and we gain hope from seeing his growth and the way God used Him for His Kingdom.

In today's reading I lingered over the first verse:

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ

Notice, here, that he calls himself "Simeon Peter." Christ, Himself, gave him the name of Peter, and one would think that with such an honor as that, he might have dropped the "Simeon" altogether. But Peter doesn't set aside his former name, or his former self so quickly.

Here in this first chapter, he is exhorting his readers to develop the Christian attributes of virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love. In verse nine he tells us, "For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins."

Peter never forgot the former sins from which he was cleansed. He remembered the "Simeon" part of his life; he remembered that he had been cleansed, and from what he had been cleansed.

He tells us in verse 13, "I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things."

Peter was drawing near the end of his life and he wasn't interested in burnishing his own reputation, he wanted his readers, then and now, to examine their lives as he did.

To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Did you catch that? Peter calls us, "those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours." Just stop and think about that for a moment. Sometimes I think we put the disciples and the Apostles on pedastals, thinking that they are a different "level" of Christian than we are by virtue of their intimate relationship with Jesus while He walked this earth and by the way He used them after He ascended to the Father. And without a doubt, they were all remarkable men who had a unique place in the Kingdom of God.

But they obtained their faith and standing the very same way we do; through faith in Christ--in His obedient life and His sacrificial death on our behalf. Peter knew this. He knew himself to be particularly blessed by his friendship with our Savior, but he did not translate that into thinking that he was in anyway different than all of us. While he made reference to his having been there on the Mount of Transfiguration, he doesn't stay there; he directs us all to God's revealed Word, "something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place." He doesn't stay in the brilliant light of the transfiguration, he brings us to the brilliance of the Word.

First Snow

I have always loved the first snow of the season--there is something magical about it, even if it is only a dusting, like we have this year.

As a child, I remember sitting in a third or fourth grade classroom on the second floor of Osborn Elementary School, dreamily watching the first snowfall of the season come drifting down in big, fat flakes and wishing I could be outside, feeling them fall onto my upturned face, just like Linus and Lucy in "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

I loved waking my boys up in the morning and announcing, "Look out your window! It snowed last night!" Watching their excitement as they wiped the fog of their breath away from the window is one of my favorite memories of the boys. My boys are grown now and would rather sleep undisturbed, but I still have the urge to make the yearly snow announcement. In fact I did just that this morning. Sam groaned and rolled over. I'm not sure he even heard. But I have hope that someday, he'll see the first snow through the eyes of a father and announce to his children, "Look out your window! It snowed last night!"

God's Minute

November 16

Ask what you will, and it shall be done unto thee.--John 15:7

O GOD our Father, Thou hast watched us during the hours of sleep, and under the shadow of Thy wings we have rested in safety. Grant that now, when we awake, we may be still with Thee. May we walk with Thee and work with Thee through all the hours of the day, seeing Thee in all the life about us, and finding it our meat to do the will of Him who sent us, and to finish His work.

In the busiest moments, may we never quite lose sight of Thee, or slacken the hold of our souls upon the things that are eternal.

Defend us from all dangers, but above all from our own faults and weaknesses. Help us so to pass through this day that we shall cast no shade on other lives, but shall bring brightness into the world about us.

And when the day draws to an end, may we have the quiet joy of knowing that, by Thy grace, we have been able to win and to manifest something of that eternal life which is found in doing justly, with loving kindness, and walking humbly with God. In the name of Jesus Christ.


William Pierson Merrill, D.D.,
New York City, New York

William Pierson Merrill wrote the lyrics to a familiar hymn.

Rise Up, O Men of God

Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.

Rise up, O men of God!
The kingdom tarries long.
Bring in the day of brotherhood
And end the night of wrong.

Rise up, O men of God!
The church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up and make her great!

Lift high the cross of Christ!
Tread where His feet have trod.
As brothers of the Son of Man,
Rise up, O men of God!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?

I've been thinking about posting a reader participation post. Could be embarrassing if no one participates, but I KNOW there are a few readers out there, so indulge me, OK?

I found this at Life in the Slow Lane, and since I have loved the Lord of the Rings since I was a kid, I thought this would be fun.

I'm an Ent.


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

God's Minute

November 15

I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live. The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of the Lord; O Lord, I beseech Thee, deliver my soul. Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.--Psalm 116:1-5

OUR Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for this new day, with its privileges and opportunities. May we in gratitude for Thy love and mercy, serve Thee today with sincere hearts. Give us grace to do Thy will, and to accept Thy purposes for us in the spirit of joyful obedience, believing that Thy will is always best.

Keep our hearts from sin, our minds pure, and our motives true. Forgive us when we fail. Grant that we may consecrate the commonplace duties of the day with the consciousness of Thy presence. Whether the day brings prosperity or loss, sunshine or shadow, blessings or bereavement, may our faith remain firm, our love unfailing, our hope undaunted. Through us today may mankind be blessed, and the coming of Thy Kingdom hastened, for His name's sake.


Rev. H.H. Bingham, B.A.,
London, Ont., Canada

Monday, November 14, 2005

George the Pharisee

"We were talking about cats and dogs the other day and decided that both have consciences but the dog, being an honest and humble person, always has a bad one, but the cat is a Pharisee and always has a good one. When he [the cat] sits and stares you out of countenance he is thanking God that he is not as these dogs, or these humans, or even as these other cats!" ~C.S. Lewis, in Letters to an American Lady.

God's Minute

November 14

Its good to sing praises unto our God.--Psalm 147:1

OUR Father, for such Thou hast taught us to call Thee, we thank Thee that we may be brought into Thy family thorugh living, loving, faith in Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Elder Brother. And we thank Thee for all that may mean to us. We thank Thee for a Father's love. Keep us ever, we pray Thee, within the circle of that love. We thank Thee for the oversight and protection that Thou dost give us day by day. As we go out from the houme, go Thou with us, and when we return at eventide may we bring Thee with us, to be with us in the breaking of bread and through all the hours of darkness, until morning break and the shadows flee away. Draw all members of the family circle into real fellowship with Thy Son, that we may be cleansed from all sin, and may be kept by His power from falling, and may be presented at last faultless before Thy presence with exceeding great joy. Make us to be more tender and thoughtful of one another, and of all our companions. Forgive all display of temper and hasty speech, give us the love that suffereth long and is kind. Bless with us all the needy and distressed. Bless all mankind. Redeem the world lying in sin, and hasten the coming of Thy Kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Ernest Thompson, D.D.,
Charleston, West Virginia

Sunday, November 13, 2005

God's Minute

November 13

Let my mouth be filled with Thy praise.--Palm 71:8

WE THANK Thee, O Lord, that Thou has been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.

We thank Thee that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. We are grateful to Thee that He took upon Himslef the form of a man like other men, and that He became obedient unto death--even the death upon the cross--that we might have life, and have it more abundantly.

Grant, O Lord, that we, the children of men, through the power of Thy Holy Spirit, may become like the Son of Man in mind and heart and will. May we be brothers to the race. Enable us to toil patiently up the slopes of service. Teach us to be willing to forgive as He forgave. We pray for all the nations of the earth whom Thou hast made of one blood. Speed the coming of Thy Kingdom upon the earth, that nation may no longer make war against nation. Hasten the coming of the day when the knowledge of God shall cover the earth as the waters now cover the sea, and bring us all at last up to that city whose Maker and Builder is God.


Hoyt M. Dobbs, D.D.,
Fort Worth, Texas

Saturday, November 12, 2005

One Man's "Trash" is Another Man's "Treasure"

Here are pictures of Thursday and Friday's bags of leaves. The bag count at our house is now up to 105 and the 100' catalpa tree isn't finished dropping yet! We'll probably have 5-10 more bags before it's all over.

I guess the word got out about our abundance of leaves because this morning when we were outside washing windows and putting up storm windows, a truck pulled up in front of the house. A woman hopped out and began walking across the yard toward us. You won't believe what she wanted--our leaves! She lives in a neighborhood with no mature trees and wanted to have some bags of maple leaves to mulch up and place on her garden and flower beds. We were glad to oblige. Who would have thought?

UPDATE:The woman in the truck just knocked on our back door. She and her husband are taking more leaves away and they brought back the empty bags that they had taken before--all neatly stacked and folded!! Who would have thought??

God's Minute

November 12

We will show forth Thy praise.--Psalm 79:13

AS WE present ourselves before the throne of Thy power, O Lord, we come to praise Thy name and to bring with us a large petition. We ask, nay, even with boldness we claim the inheritance left us by our Elder Brother, His peace--the peace which the world cannot give, and which the world cannot take away.

We dare not ask for wealth, with all its allurement to worldliness; we dare not ask for length of days, with prospect of aged weakness and dependence; we dare not ask for preferment among our brethren, realizing that if we honor ourselves, our honor is nothing; we dare not ask for freedom from sorrow, remembering that they who are not of this world shall in the world have tribulation; but we do ask, our Father, that in perfect peace we may rest in Thee, know that He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, shall with Him also freely give us all things. Grant, Lord, that the peace of God which passeth all understanding, may keep our hearts and minds through abundance of grace in Christ our Redeemer.

This our prayer we make in the name of Him who loveth us and gave Himself for us, even Jesus Christ our Righteousness.


John W. Friend,
Petersburg, Virginia

Friday, November 11, 2005

Wish I'd said that!

Dan Edelen at Cerulean Sanctum has a wonderful post this morning about home schooling. Every bit of it is sound and every bit of it I wish I'd said myself!

Here's a brief quote to pique your interest:

8. Always take learning back to God

As much as possible, don't allow learning to fester in a godless vacuum. As much as possible, I try to tie every bit of learning my son does in a day back to God. I just mentioned about asking about why the sun is hot and gives off light. Examine that with your child in light of the Scriptures and let him or her know that the sun has no power unless God gives it power and that without God to hold it together the sun would dissipate like mist. If we truly believe that the Lord undergirds everything that is, we need to ensure our children know that there is no divide between life and God--everything goes back to God.

God's Minute

November 11

Ye shall see Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.--Jeremiah 29:13

O THOU, with Whom to dwell is the light of life and from Whom to depart is the shadow of death, grant us the joy of Thine abiding presence this day, that in us there may be no darkness at all. We are not children of the darkness, O Father, but our paths this day may lead us into the midst of human sorrow and strife and sin. May we walk as befits the children of the Light!

Give us, we pray Thee, open and alert minds to discover Thy will, and a holy purpose both to love and to do it. Help us to be true in the midst of all that is false, pure where evil most abounds, friendly to the friendless, and bearers of our brothers' burdens for our Saviour's sake. Take away , we pray Thee, all the guilt of our sin, and give us the joy of the victorious life through our divine Redeemer.

At the close of this day bring us, with spirits untroubled and unashamed, to our own firesides, where, by Thy grace, we may find rest, and the peace that passeth all understanding.

All of this we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Saviour.


William Hiram Foulkes, D.D., LL.D.,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Thursday, November 10, 2005

God's Minute

November 10

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High; to show forth Thy loving kindness in the morning and Thy faithfulness every night. For Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy work; I will triumph in the work of Thy hands--Psalm 92:1-2,4

OUR loving Father in Heaven, we come to Thee as the good Father that cares for us here below, realizing our many wants, but "our God can supply all our needs according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ." Teach us also, dear Lord, to realize fully our many infirmities. "Teach me to know how frail I am," and notwithstanding all, may we go to Thee as children to an earthly parent--trustfully, believingly, and in full confidence that Thou wilt lead our steps aright. Bless our children, loving Saviour, and as they grow up to manhood's and womanhood's stature, may they grow into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Jesus Christ. Prepare us today for all that Thou are preparing for us. Make us patient, loving, thoughtful and helpful. Bless each one of us, and, what is far better, make us a blessing. For Jesus' sake we ask it.


Rev. P.C. Cameron, B.A.,
Berlin, Ont., Canada

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Jump in now

Rebecca, of Rebecca Writes, just started posting the Westminster's Larger Catechism. If you pop over there now, you can follow along from the beginning. (Trying to catch up isn't fun!) Question and Answer 1 is here, 2 is here.

Reading through one 'Q and A a day' is a great way to renew one's mind with scripture and the historic doctrines of the Christian faith at the same time. If it's been a while or if you've never read them before, go take a look.

Thankful for Katy

This morning I am thankful for Katy.

Katy loves dogs. Being disabled, it takes a great deal of concentration and effort for her to coordinate her movements. But Katy is a determined young lady and last night she was determined to pet our dogs.

We had had the dogs crated while we were eating dinner, but with that extra special doggy sense of when the meal was winding down and scraps might be forthcoming, Eve began to whine and ask to get out. I wish you could have seen Katy's delight when Eve came skidding into the dining room, wagging and sniffing; so happy to see visitors.

Katy worked and worked until she could reach out and get her hands on Eve to pet her. She wanted to share her food with Eve, so she clutched a tiny piece in her hand and offered it to Eve. Grasping is easier than releasing for Katy, but Eve was so gentle and patient and between the two of them, they worked together until Eve got the treat.

After seeing how much Katy was enjoying Eve, we decided to let Ivy come to the party. Now, mind you, Ivy is not like Eve (yet). Vizslas have a long puppyhood and at 2 1/2, Ivy is still very much a puppy. Lively is a nice word--wild might be closer to the truth at times. She runs and wiggles and leaps through the house like a red blurrrrr. Ivy came busting into the room like a red whirling dervish and within seconds had greeted everyone and kissed Katy on the cheek. Katy loved it! I think it was hard for her to focus on Ivy with her swift movements, but that only added to her wonder and joy.

I can't begin to tell you how much we enjoyed watching Katy with the dogs. Her enjoyment of them was not hampered in the least by the effort required for her to interact with them.

I am so thankful for Katy; for her happiness and excitement. For her determination and her sense of accomplishment. For reminding me that disabled does not mean unabled. There is nothing "unabled" about Katy.