Monday, January 16, 2006

An Important Announcement

I wish to make an ANNOUNCEMENT!

No, I'm not standing on a chair under the party tree, neither am I going to announce that "this is the END. I am going. I am leaving NOW. GOOD-BYE!" and vanish, but I am going to move to a new URL.

Starting with tomorrow morning's God's Minute prayer, I will begin to publish Hiraeth at it's new spot on Blogger:

I have managed to transfer everything in my sidebar to the new address and have added a section with links back here to the October 2005-January 2006 archive pages. I will continue to maintain this blog for the foresee-able future so that I can re-direct my friends to my new location. Other than republishing this post a couple of times, though, I won't be updating here.

So if you've followed an outdated link, won't you click one more time and follow along?

For those of you who have been so kind as to have bookmarked or subscribed here, I'd love it if you would follow me to the new blog and bookmark or subscribe over there. For those of you who have linked to Hiraeth in your sidebar links, I would be delighted if, when you next update your blog links, you would go in and remove that pesky extra "r"(Hira-r-eth) so that it reflects the new location.

So, if you come back here and find the place deserted and you have a "hiraeth" for the blog, come visit me. I'll be waiting to welcome you!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Gulp. . .

This is scary. I'm not sure if I'm going to do it yet. I have some questions first.

My friend, Kyle, pointed out to me that I have spelled hiraeth incorrectly in my URL when I set up my blog. (serve me right for choosing a Welsh word, eh?) I've known this and it has caused a few problems but not many. He recommended that I go in and change the URL. I thought that I couldn't do it because back in October that URL was taken, however, it is free now so change is a possibility.

This is my question: If I go ahead and do this, will all the previous links that people have made to my blog be useless or will they continue to work somehow? I would really like to have the URL match the name of the blog, but I don't want to a. lose the last four months b. lose readers c. lose links.

Today is a very busy day so I probably won't have time to research how to do this. If I do decide to go ahead and do this (gulp) I will make note of it here on the blog a day or two before I do it, just in case.

Any advice? warnings? helpful suggestions? Any and all would be most appreciated.

And by the way, Kyle, thanks! :) (I think. . .)

God's Minute

January 14

For Thy Name's sake, lead me, and guide me.--Psalm 31:3

LORD, hear our prayer in the morning. We need Thee all the day, through all the days. W have our call to prayer at any hour, but particularly when the night is spent, and Thou hast kindled the dawn as if Thou hadst made the day for us and only f0r us. Then we have a strange need that Thou shouldst take our hand inThine and our heart in Thine and our brain in Thine, and that our feet walk the road where Thy footprints should show the way though Thou shouldst need to leave us for a moment. We pray our morning prayer; we lift our singing hearts to Thee and praise Thee that all the ways we take we shall surely have the good companionship which on a day long since made hearts to burn, and turned a funeral day into one of laughter and great dreams. Blessed be the Lord, Who has guided our going all these years, and Who will continue to be our help and our rejoicing. We will make melody all day; we will walk modestly all day; we will work helpfully all day; we will do things which shall not need to be undone all day; and since these matters are too large for our accomplishment, we ask Thy mighty aid. Fail us not, our God. Smile on our many activities and bid them Godspeed to the end, that at the set of sun all may be well with our hearts, and we may be bidden by Thyself into a kindly good night.


Bishop William A. Quayle,
St. Paul, Minnesota

His poems

Friday, January 13, 2006

Resolved to Confess

After nearly a month’s break from the Resolutions and several sporatic attempts to get Resolution 7 up on the blog, something just didn’t seem to be right. So I’d put it on the back burner and let it simmer and go back to the sections of his memoirs and some readings from his works for inspiration. If my goal in this series was simply to share what I saw in the resolution and my thoughts about it, then this would be a fairly straight forward resolution and it wouldn’t have been too difficult to get something up quickly.

But that is not what I set out to do. I set out to examine the resolutions in the context of the life and writings of Jonathan Edwards with a view toward understanding the man and, hopefully to apply what I learned in my own life for the purpose of developing a heart after God like his. I saw in his writings a depth of character that came through his own self examination and I thought, “it would be good for me to know myself like this—I am too adept at rationalizing and defending myself.”

I have come to see that I have bitten off a good deal more than I can chew, and yet I will endeavor to persevere because it does me good. And if it takes me much longer than I thought and if I lose the interest of others or if I find I am never able to sensibly share this on the blog, then so be it. Protecting my own pride and not wanting to look like a quitter is not sufficient reason to carry a project on to (public) completion, and so in all this I will say along with Edwards:

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to continue with this project, so far as it is agreeable to His will, for Christ’s sake.

God's Minute

January 13

Let not your heart be troubled.--John 14:1

ETERNAL GOD our Heavenly Father, we bow in gratitude before Thee this morning. We have been kept by Thy power during the darkness of the night. We are refreshed and strengthened for the duties of the new day. Thou hast made every provision for our physical needs. Accept this offering of sincere hearts. We would begin the day aright, so we tarry at Thy feet and implore the Divine blessing. We thank Thee for the message of Jesus Christ. Write His Word upon our hearts and help us to remember that Thou art the source of help for men in the critical experiences of life. We cannot see into the future so we know not what things shall come to pass this day. The spirit of future discernment is not with us. Things of great mystery may surge around us. We may be thrust into some dire temptation. We may be testd almost to the limit of endurance. Help us at all times to "believe in God" and to "believe in Jesus Christ." May the near personality of Jesus and the preciousness of His Word protect our hearts from trouble. Keep us this day from evil and help us to "hold steady" for the sake of One whose face "was set" toward Calvary. Bring us in Thine own good time to the place where the "mansions are" and give us the consciousness of a saving and keeping faith. In the Master's name we ask it.


Rev. Benjamin Young,
Kansas City, Missouri

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I'm having a senior moment

I can't remember the name of a book that I've read several times to the boys when they were younger. Last time was about 10 years ago when Sam was in Kindergarten or first grade. It's about a well educated, civilized mouse who takes his young wife on a picnic and ends up getting swept away in a storm and is marooned on an island. It's a wonderful book and it really bugs me that I can't remember the title or the author or even the mouse's name. Might have had island in the title.

SOMEBODY has to remember the name of this book! Please! I don't want to have to go up to the cold attic tomorrow and rummage around in the boxes to find it!


Nevermind, *grin*, it was the first thing that popped into my head this morning. Abel's Island. by William Steig. (Although I did have to go to Amazon to come up with the author) You can get it new or used, hardback or paperback for a song at Amazon so if you have young children and you've never read it to them, or if your kids are ready to read a "real book" on their own, I highly recommend it.

From the back cover: "With inimitable style, Steig tells the story of a mouse, Abelard Hassam di Chirico Flint, who gets swept away in a driving rainstorm while rescuing his wife's scarf and winds up stranded on a river island for a year. Abel isn't just any mouse. He is a fastidious Edwardian dandy who's inherited wealth ensures the leisurely comforts he takes such pleasure in. But Abel's high toned life of leisure conceals a soul full of true grit: once faced with the necessity of survival, Abel rises to the challenge."--Starred/Booklist


I've been waiting for that bright sunshine to show up and shine in my back door someday.

Luther Allison

Today the sun is shining! It is amazing to me how much one can overlook during extended days of gloom and cloudcover! This morning, I saw doggy noseprints on my doors and windows, dust bunnies on my hardwood floors. I saw how desperately my car needs to be washed! I saw how sluggish I had become.

Today the sun is shining! It is amazing to me how much one can see when the sun shines! I saw latent energy in the grass and shrubs--growth and brilliant color just bursting to return to life. I saw neighbors walking without hats, smiles on their faces and springs in their steps. I saw my garden as it will be in just a few, short months. I saw the hope of tomorrow and the Hand of the Almighty One Who gives us good gifts in season.

Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.

Hans Christian Andersen

Sunshine is a welcome thing. It brings a lot of brightness.

Jimmie Davis

I always feel sorry for people who think more about a rainy day ahead than sunshine today.

Rae Foley

He that will enjoy the brightness of sunshine, must quit the coolness of the shade.

Samuel Johnson

Nobody needs a smile so much as the one who has none to give. So get used to smiling heart-warming smiles, and you will spread sunshine in a sometimes dreary world.

Lawrence G. Lovasik

Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.

John Ruskin

God's Minute

January 12

The faithful God, which keepeth covenant.--Deuteronomy 7:9

OUR Heavenly Father, we come to thank Thee for Thy many mercies, and to invoke Thy protection and guidance for all the way of life. We rejoice that we may know Thee and love Thee and serve Thee and be like Thee. Grant us grace to please Thee in all that we think and plan and do. Help us to live in such fellowship with Thee that Thou canst not only dwell in us, but work through us. Help us to share our blessings with others, and to find in our privileges an obligaion to minister to those who need what we have. Bestow upon us strength for our daily tasks; courage in the face of fears; comfort in sorrow; quiet in the midst of tumult; hope in the presence of uncertainty; high motives for humble as well as high deeds; self-control in the hour of provocation; gentleness and forgiveness when tempted to revenge; and the peace which passeth all understanding. Hold in Thy holy care all our loved ones, and keep guard over our interests in life. Give us to see the speedy coming of Thy Kingdom among all men, and let us have an increasing share in its establishment. Fill our hearts with songs of expectation, and flood our faces with morning light, and when the day is done, let the weariness of work make welcome the rest of home, we beg in our Redeemer's name.


James I. Vance, D.D.,
Nashville, Tennessee

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I've been tagged by Marlene at Home Maker for the "2 meme". (If you never have before, go visit Marlene--she has a great blog. If you have already, go say "hi" for me!)

2 names you go by:
1. Mom
2. Honey

2 parts of your heritage:
1. Irish
2. Welsh

2 things that scare you:
1. driving around Chicago/Gary IN.
2. when a loved one is late getting home

2 of your everyday essentials:
1. reading
2. praying

2 things you are wearing right now:
1. my old green Eddie Bauer sweatshirt sweater
2. my new earrings :)

2 things you want in a relationship (other than real love):
1. laughter
2. integrity

2 truths:
1. this world is not my home
2. Christ in me, the hope of glory

2 physical things that appeal to you (in the opposite sex):
1. my husband's smile
2. my husband's eyes

2 of your favorite hobbies:
1. cooking
2. decorating

2 things you want really badly:
1. my unsaved loved ones to come to Christ
2. To be conformed to the likeness of Christ

2 places you want to go on vacation:
1. Ireland
2. Fort Morgan Beach

2 things you want to do before you die:
1. teach my (future) grandaughters to cook
2. visit Ireland

2 ways that you are stereotypically a chick:
1. I hate my hair
2. I like to "make it all better"

2 things you are thinking about now:
1. I really should be making supper.
2. I wonder if there's any salad leftover from last night.

2 stores you shop at:
1. Kohls
2. World Market

I would like to tag some bloggers that I've just recently met; Carmen at Full Contact Christ-Centric living and "Created" at Created for HIS Glory

Dogs are like toddlers. . .

...when the weather is gloomy and yucky and they can't go outside, they get rowdy.

Today the girls have been playing an extended version of an old game. Run and chase. When one goes outside to go potty, the other one stands at the door. . .waiting. As soon as the one comes in, off they go!

They wrestle and run, they leap and skitter, they growl and pant. Most especially they wag their tails.

Today, I'm glad they can entertain themselves. Say a prayer for my hardwood floors because they're at it again!

Carnival of Beauty

Carol at She Lives is hosting this week's Carnival of Beauty:

From snowflakes to fires, from the young to the old, from depression to joy, from warm to cold, from serious to hillarious, winter's beauty threads its way through this week's carnival.
Go visit Carol and experience the Beauty of Winter through the eyes of some beautiful women.

It was You who set all the boundaries of the earth; You made both summer and winter. Psalm 74:17

God's Minute

January 11

And as thy days, so shall thy strength be.--Deuteronomy 33:25

O LORD, our ever loving Father, we thank Thee for Thy watchful providence in the past and for the promise of Thy guidance in the days to come. As dew unto the withered flower and rain unto the parched grass, so is the knowledge of Thy presence and the assurance of Thy blessing to the weary human heart. Help us to begin the morning hours with the knowledge and this assurance so that we may be strong and courageous for whatever conflicts of the spirit it may be ours to wage today. May Thy kingdom come more perfectly in our own hearts and throughout the world this day. As we grow in years, may we grow in the beauty of holiness and may the approving smile of God atone for the passing of years. In the days of prosperity may we not forget Thee, and in the days of affliction we know that Thou wilt not forget us. Grant us grace to live the life of the righteous that we may be well assured our last end shall be like His. And when Thou dost call us home; be it in the morning, in the noon-day, or beneath the rays of the setting sun of old age, may Thy hand sustain us and comfort us and lead us through the valley of the shadow until we awaken in the splendor of Thine own everlasting morning beyond the grave. And Thine shall be the praise and the glory through Christ our Lord.


Rev. Fredrick D. Kershner,
Des Moines, Iowa

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

It takes very little to make me happy

I am not much of a jewelry person. I wear my wedding band, my mother's class ring and for the past eight years or so I have worn the same pair of earrings, day in and day out. Tiny little gold hoops with a bar clasp. Simple, easy, done.

But right before Christmas the unthinkable happened. After all these years, I lost one of my earrings. And it's strange that as understated and really ignorable they are, my ears feel naked without them.

My mother was here visiting for Christmas when it happened and so when she got home she sent me a cute little pair of silver hoops. But they don't have a bar clasp and so I have already nearly lost one of them in the shower and once when I was brushing my hair. So, cute as they are, they are not the answer to my earring problem.

Today I happened to be in Kmart and walked past the jewelry counter. It was hard to miss with the 70% off signs! I looked and looked and was about to give up and then I saw them! Tiny little gold hoops with a bar clasp. They weren't the same brand of my old favorites (Monet) but they looked really close so I bought them.

When I got them home I compared them to the old earring I still have and they are almost exactly the same! Now I have a whole set and a spare. I am very happy.

Now, do you think I'll be able to find the "spare" 8 or 10 years from now when I lose one of this pair?

God's Minute

January 10

I will bless the Lord at all times.--Psalm 34:1

O Lord and Father of us all, we come with glad hearts to this hour of prayer. When we recall the infinity and eternity of Thy power and wisdom and goodness, we bow in reverence to Thee. Love invites imitation, and we choose Thee as our example. May Thy Spirit change us into likeness to Thyself. Love craves the privilege of service, and loving Thee we ask, "Lord, what wilt Thou have us to do?" Help us a parents to wisely order our household. May we train our children for useful lives here, and to be fitted for their true home beyond this life. As a family we are very near each other. Help us so to live that proximity may not evoke confusion and strife. May we be "kindly affectioned one to another." Grant us, O Lord, that winning gentleness which is the sweet offering of truthfulness and love.

We pray, our Father, for all who are in trouble; for the sick, the poor, the afflicted, for any good cause. Bless the lonely--those who suffer, weep, and struggle alone. Grant that they may find companionship and comfort in Thee. Since every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, we thank Thee sincerely and heartily for the good things we enjoy. May this prayer, O Lord! find acceptance with Thee, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.


Charles Randall Barnes, D.D.,
Hoboken, New Jersey

Monday, January 09, 2006

Two peas in a pod

Casting the 'net

I found this at pastorway this morning. Since it did not originate with him, I have copied it here, but please do go visit his blog. His side bar links are worth the visit and I "know" him from my days at the Puritan board (although he likely doesn't remember me) and remember him to be a godly man and a great encourager.

Introducing the new
Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge
device, trade named:

BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy to use, even a child can operate it.

Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere -- even sitting in an armchair by the fire -- yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc. Here's how it works:

BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder, which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence.

Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now, BOOKs with more information simply use more pages. Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet. BOOK may be taken up at any time and used merely by opening it.

Unlike other display devices, BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, and it can even be dropped on the floor or stepped on without damage. However, it can become unusable if immersed in water for a significant period of time. The "browse" feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an "index" feature, which pinpoints the exact location of selected information for instant retrieval.

An optional "BOOKmark" accessory allows you to open BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session -- even if the BOOK has been closed. BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers.Conversely, numerous BOOKmarkers can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in the BOOK.

You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with an optional programming tool, the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus (PENCILS).

Portable, durable, and affordable, BOOK is being hailed as a precursor of a new entertainment wave. Also, BOOK's appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and investors are reportedly flocking. Look for a flood of new titles soon.

Original Author Unknown

Please Pray

Please pray with me today for a family I know in England that is in great need of prayer for a private family situation. This family lives in an area with very little Christian fellowship available and they feel the very pressing need to be lifted before the Throne of God today and throughout the rest of this week.

As you pray for them, thank the God of Heaven and Earth Who placed us into one body and Who calls us to bear each others' burdens.

. . .so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (Romans 12:5)

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

God's Minute

January 9

Give thanks unto the Lord; call upon His name.--Psalm 105:1

DEAR Heavenly Father, as we gather at Thy feet today as a family, we ask Thy blessing on our home and Thy guidance to each one during the day. Help us to realize Thy nearness to us at this hour. May we realize Thy reality at this hour and be consious of the fact that Thou art not a God afar off--the Great King of Heaven, the Mighty Judge of all the earth enthroned in infinite space above us, but that we can claim Thee as our Saviour and our Friend.

Help us throughout this day to realize that Thou canst be nearer to each one of us than the nearest and dearest of friends.

Let us hear Thy voice today. Let us feel the inspiration of Thy presence, and with willing feet enable us to walk in the path on which Thy light and blessing can fall.

Give us this day some work to do for others, some kindly word to speak, some helpful unselfish deed to fulfil in Thy Name. Be with us each and every hour of this day, and may we so live that Thy will may be done and Thy Kingdom come within our hearts.


Mrs. Maud Ballington Booth,
New York City, New York

From the hyperlinked article:
Maud Ballington Booth, Salvation Army leader, pioneer slum worker in New York, "Little Mother of the Prisons," co-founder and leader with her husband of the Volunteers of America, author, popular preacher and much-sought-after Chautauqua and Lyceum lecturer, was born and grew to adulthood in England. . .

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Dose of Jonathan Edwards

They who are truly converted are new men, new creatures; new, not within, but without; they are sanctified throughout, in spirit, soul and body; old things are passed away, all things are become new; they have new hearts, new ears, new tongues, new hands, new feet; i.e., a new conversation and practice; they walk in newness of life, and continue to do so to the end of life. --Jonathan Edwards
Between holidays and houseguests and general vacation-itis, the Resolutions have been on hold for a few weeks but, God willing, Resolution 7 should make it to the blog sometime this week. Research and notes are taken, outline is complete, something is missing. Hopefully, I can "find" it this afternoon.

God's Minute

January 8

I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength.--Psalm 18:1

LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, creator and preserver of all things, we humbly bow down before Thee in worship and supplication. We come without a single plea of merit, except that we have been redeemed through the suffering, death, and resurrection of Thine only begotton Son, Jesus Christ. We thank Thee for the blessings that Thou hast bestowed on us so generously in the past, and we ask wisdom and guidance from Thee in order that each one of us may become a blessing to all with whom we come in contact. We pray for the forgiveness of our sins. We ask Thee to walk with us today; be Thou our friend, our counselor, our guide, our brother, the sure staff on which we may lean. May love for Thee and for our fellowmen always fill our hearts, and shine out of our lives so that all men may see that we have been walking with God.

Thou has never promised to supply all our wants--many of them are not for our good, but Thou hast promised to fill all needs, and we ask Thee for the gift of contentedness, of being satisfied with what Thou doth send. These, and all other things which will satisfy our souls and increase our capacity for service in the kingdom, we ask for Jesus' sake.


William Anthony Granville, LL.D.,
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Bloggy Thoughts

When I began blogging I was so innocent. I had no idea about how the world of blogging works. I was completely in the dark about all the many and varied ways one can hitch one's wagon to the "big boys" in order to gain readership. I didn't know that there would be huge blogosphere debates. In many ways, I think I still am still in the dark. But now I am not so much in the dark that I cannot have my feelings hurt.

I have said before on several occasions that blogging is a little bit like chopping veggies with a brand new set of chef knives--eventually someone is going to get hurt and today it is me. But you know, that is a good thing because it has caused me to re-examine why I started to blog in the first place. And whether my feelings should be hurt after all.

My first exposure to blogging was when I "happened" to providentially follow a link from somewhere to Rebecca Writes. I found the website friendly, warm, welcoming and mentally stimulating. As I read some things started sounding vaguely familiar, I began to realize that I actually may "know" this blogger! I emailed her to see and, sure enough, I learned that Rebecca of Rebecca Writes is indeed one of my first and dearest internet friends with whom I had lost contact through various moves and multiple computer crashes. Becky, as I knew her then, was instrumental in helping me to understand the doctrines of grace. She was (and is) so generous with her time and her knowledge and I am still very grateful for that but most of all for her friendship.

And so after reading her blog for several months, I began to wonder if blogging would be something I could do. After a month or so of thinking it through, I decided to give it a whirl. My reasons for starting a blog were simple and few:
I wanted to have a way to share my life with my family and friends.

I wanted to make some new friends.

I wanted to make a record of daily life for my kids and the grand children I am looking forward to having someday.

I wanted to be able to "talk out loud" about the things I am thinking about and the things I am reading.

I wanted to be able to share my faith in Christ and encourage others.
If I have managed to do any of these things, then I have blogged for the right reasons. And I realize now that there is really no need for hurt feelings (silly things that they are) unless, of course, they cause one to think about what really matters.

God's Minute

January 7

Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us.--1 John 3:1

IN THEE, O God, we live, and move, and have our being. If Thou wert to withdraw Thy hand for a moment we should sink into nothingness, as when a drop of dew exhales into the air.

We thank Thee for all that makes life worth living; for home and kinship, and loving friends, for happiness, the hope and the opportunity of doing good. We thank Thee for life and immortality brought to light in the Gospel, and for a strong staff to lean on as we journey toward the immortal life.

Pardon our sins, for Jesus' sake, that we may not be dragging a hopeless chain after us. Sanctify us by Thy Spirit, that we may run in the way of Thy commandments; and enlarge our hearts that we may constantly be doing good as we have opportunity unto all men. Look graciously on the sick and suffering; and incline the hearts of those who know Thee not to come running unto Thee.

Hear and answer, Father of all mercies; not for any worth or worthiness in us, but because we ask it in the all-prevailing name of Christ, our Saviour and Thy beloved Son.


David J.A.L. Burrell, D.D.,
New York City, New York

Friday, January 06, 2006

Casting the 'net

Here is an excellent article by David Wayne, posted at Theologica, the World Magazine blog.

In his article, David makes some important distinctions in the cessationist vs. continualist debate.

In other words, I am saying that I have no reason to doubt that Rutherford and Knowx and others had these experiences, but that in all likelihood, being in the Westminster Tradition, they may have recongized them for that they were - extraordinary experiences which were not normative.

This is where I think there is a disconnect between these historical figures and modern charismatics. Modern charismatics see as ordinary what those from the past saw as extraordinary. That which used to be considered unusual is now supposed to be the usual.

So, I think that, rather than modern reformed cessationism being the historical aberration, it is modern reformed charismaticism that is the aberration, at least when it seeks to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary, the unusual into the usual.

This article is worth reading no matter which side of the debate you come down on.

What time is it?

Look close! Somebody better tell my stella d'oro lillies that it's January. . .

Memory Lane--thanks Ms. Booshay and Katie!

Donna, at The Quiet Life, has shared the most darling note that her daughter, Katie, made recently. What fun it was to see her handiwork! Like any mother, it reminded me of some treasures that I have kept.

Here is a picture that Sam slipped to me in church when he was about 5. It is written on the back of a prayer list insert from the bulletin. I remember his proud smile when he passed it to me. I tried scanning it several times, but for some reason, the 'I' did not show up, so you'll have to fill in the blanks a bit:

The next two were also drawn in church. I especially love the Jar Jar Binks drawing with the Hallelujah Chorus of Jawas.

Spongebob continues to be a family favorite.

God's Minute

Jaunuary 6

I thank Thee and praise Thee, O God.--Daniel 2:23

Our Father in Heaven, we approach Thee in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Saviour, that we may render praise and thanksgiving to Thee; and that we may seek the forgiveness of our sins, the continued manifestation of Thy favor, and guidance of the Hoy Spirit in the choices of our lives, and in the rendering of service to Thee. We realize, our Father, the shortness of our vision, the imperfection of our judgment, and the weakness of our effort, but Thou hast said, "Commit thy way unto Jehovah, trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass." It is sweet to rest upon this promise, and to feel that thus we can walk hand in hand with Thee, and that our ways shall be Thy way.

In order that we may be true to our high calling, give us the sympathetic heart, the kindly look, the golden speech, the helping hand. Make us a channel of blessing to those about us, that we may be the true children of Abraham, who was blessed that he might bless. And now, dear Lord, give us the strength for that which is immediately before us according to the promise, "As thy day is, so shalt thy strength be," and Thy name shall have the glory, through Christ, our Lord.


J.A. Duff, D.D.,
Aspinwall, Pennsylvania

Thursday, January 05, 2006

What would you do?

I had to take a quick run to the grocery store for a few things before lunch. The store was crowded, the lines were long. I got my few things and got in line.

Then it happened. A little boy who looked to be about 4 or 5, tipped back his head and started whaling at the top of his lungs. The mother immediately, (immediately!!) began to scream at him, "Shut up! Shut up! What is wrong with you?" It quickly escalated into louder, whooping screams and more frantic, angry words from the mother. I don't have the heart to repeat what she said here.

I stood there in line with my things and felt my heart pounding and my blood pressure rising. I wanted to do something--anything. But I didn't. I didn't know what to do. I felt so helpless. Looking around at the other faces waiting in line, I saw some of the same emotions.

My hands were shaking when I got to my car. I felt like crying, I think I did. I can't shake it. I wish I had done something--anything. The only thing I can think to do now is to pray for that harried, angry mother and her son. And try to have a plan should this ever happen again.

God's Minute

January 5

O Lord, my God, I will give thanks unto Thee forever.--Ps. 30:12

OUR Eternal FAther, we thank Thee that Thou hast brought us into the close and loving relationship of children, by the death of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Saviour, through Whom we are adopted into Thy divine family and become Thy children.

We thank Thee that Thou Who was the Creator of all men hast brought unto Thine own family those who accept the love and sacrifice of Thy dear Son. We thank Thee that Thou dost share with us not only our sorrows, but our joys; that Thou art delighted when life delights us, and when virtue and faithfulness lead us to higher levels of thought and purpose.

We thank Thee for Thy Holy Word, and pray that our faithfulness in studying it may result in spiritual growth and development. May we "hunger and thirst after righteousness" and after the food of Thy Word. May we never dare to enter upon the duties of a single day without the nourishment and support of the Word of God!

Bless, we pray Thee, all who are dear to us, and give to us all an interpretation of friendship which centers in our divine Friend and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We ask it in His Holy Name.


John Timothy Stone, D.D.,
Chicago, Illinois

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Stepping Heavenward

The first book of 2006 just might be the most formative. Stepping Heavenward is the journal of a woman and tells the story of her Christian journey in sanctification and growth in grace and truth.

Katy's first entry is made on January 15, 1831, her 16th birthday, and so begins the tale of her life, her new life in Christ, her struggles with faith and doctrine, her marriage, her children--the stuff of which life consists. The last entry is on June 30, 1858, so it covers over 25 years of her life. The people that God placed in her life to help her are as memorable as Katy, herself.

As I read through Katy's experiences, I could identify so strongly with her feelings and emotions! Some of her struggles were of a different nature than mine, others I struggle with as well, but regardless, her responses and the lessons learned are so amazingly similar. The work of sanctification is a journey--sometimes two steps forward and one step back (or one step forward and two steps back!) and yet it is Christ who sanctifies us in His providential timing and in His wise, judicious ways and, therefore, we can rest as we struggle onward, Stepping Heavenward.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to you! It is published by Lamplighter Publishing and is part of their Rare Collector's Series.

Thanks to my friend, Carol, for recommending and lending it to me. I will be getting my own copy, for this is a book that I will want to read, in full and in part, as I continue to Step Heavenward.

Stepping Heavenward
Mrs. E. Prentiss
Lamplighter Publishing, 1997
Waverly, PA
A Division of Cornerstone Family Ministries

God's Minute

January 4

Keep yourselves in the love of God.--Jude 21

O THOU Eternal Love, Whom Jesus has taught us to call our Father, and in Whom we are learning to trust as our Brother, our Comrade, our Closest Friend, we are not seeking Thee, for we know that Thou art nearer to us every moment than we are to ourselves; we are only wishing and hoping that often, through this day, the thought of Thy nearness to us, of Thy presence with us, may spring into our consciousness, that we may see what Thou art showing us, and know what Thou art telling us, and be ready to take what Thou art giving us, and to do what Thou art bidding us. Help us to feel more than once today that the good thoughts and the good wishes which we find in our hearts are signs of Thy presence there; and may we learn to look for Thee thus, within our own lives, and to rejoice when we find Thee there, and so to become aware, more and more, of what we mean when we speak of the fellowship and communion of the Holy Spirit! We know that Thou art working in us to will and to do of Thy good pleasure; and we know that Thou findest Thy good pleasure in lives made fruitful and beautiful in Thy service. So help us to work with Thee, this day and every day, though Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Washington Gladden, D.D., LL.D.,
Columbus, Ohio

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A blurrrrr

Fifteen years gone by in a blurr of energy, laughter, and joy! You bring so much life and fun to our family! Happy 15th birthday, Sam! Next birthday we'll have a picture of you driving!

God's Minute

January 3

Make His praise glorious.--Psalm 66:2

O GOD, our gracious Father, we look to Thee now for Thy benediction. We are Thy suppliant children, who subsist under the cover of Thy patience. We praise Thee for all Thine extraordinary mercies. Thou hast made us like Thyself in the desire and in the capacity for fellowship. May fellowship with Thee be the basis and supreme blessing of our fellowship with each other. May flowers of devotion breathe their fragrance every day upon the family altar. Teach us how to be abased and how to abound. Keep our feet from unbidden paths, and our eyes from tears; or if the tears must come, let the Comforter come as well, that He may wipe them all away. Temper to us the long night watches of pain and sorrow. If weeping endure for a night, bring joy in the morning; and when the long afternoon shadows deepen toward the eventide of this earth's life, bring us very gently to the turn of the road from whence we may catch the vision of the home eternal. May this our present habitation be a promise and a foretaste of the house which has foundation whose builder and maker is God. Help us in our social joys and pleasures to remember Thee. Grant us all to face all life's tasks bravely, and perform then earnestly. And bring us in the end with joyful hearts and glad faces to abide wtih Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Charles F. Wishart, D. D.,
Chicago, Illinois

Monday, January 02, 2006

God's Minute

January 2

His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:12

HEAVENLY Father, write Thy new, best name of Love upon our hearts this morning. Help us to remember Jesus Christ. During the busy hours bring Him often to our thought. When the mind is free from some set task may it revert to Him, as the needle turns to the pole. Keep us from wounding Him in thought or word. Make our communion with Him sweet. Give us of His strength, of His wisdom, of His winsomeness. Forgive the sins which have brought a reproach upon Thy church. Forgive us if we have made it difficult to distinguish between the church and the world.

Save us from the sin of despair. Light the lamp of hope in every heart. Fill us with the spirit of expectancy. Teach us that ruined lives may be rebuilt, and that in Christ is sufficiency for all our needs. We are thankful that Christ is the way to our Father's house, that there is forgiveness for all, the bread of life for all, and a welcome. Cleanse us from the defilement of the way; blot out the memories of the far country; clothe us with the garment of righteousness, and give us the joy of knowing that Thou dost own us as Thy sons and daughters.


Frederick T. Keeney, D.D.,
Syracuse, New York

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sermon Reflections

We had a guest speaker at church this morning, Dr. Willem VanGemeren, a professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

He preached on Psalm 91, but as is his practice, he put it into the context of Psalm 89 and 90, too. It was a mighty sermon and one that was particularly appropriate for the beginning of a New Year.

Here's the text:

91:1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
5 You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked.

9 Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

He spent some time drawing out the organization of the Psalm. In verse 1, there is a general call to all men everywhere:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

Then in verse 2, the Psalmist is speaking of himself:

2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Then in verses 3-13, he is speaking to the reader--"you"
You will be delivered, you will be covered, you will find refuge, you will be guarded by His angels, you need not fear. . .

And finally, in verses 14-16, God speaks in response:

14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

God is declaring His faithfulness to all generations. He promises to deliver, protect and answer those who hold fast to Him. He will rescue him, and honor him, and satisfy him and show him His salvation--a reiteration of the previous verses.

Dr. VanGemeren explained what it meant to an Israelite to abide in the shadow. Deep, cooling shadows were not that common in Israel. The climate is HOT and dry and it is hard to find a refuge from the scorching heat. And when one could find a place to rest in the shadow, oh! it was so wonderful! So the picture of abiding in the shadow of the Almighty carries with it more than simply the idea of the sun casting a shadow. It carries with it the idea that one is covered by God Himself, protected, sheltered, cooled and refreshed. Take a minute here to look at the many ways that this concept is presented visually in this Psalm!

I have the kind of brain that automatically outlines what I hear and what I read. I don't know why or how, but I just do. But putting the thoughts into an organized whole is not the same as getting to the meaning of the message. And Dr. VanGemeren helped me to get the meaning of the text through what was, for me, a startling statement. This statement has stayed with me all this day. I think it will stay with me all my life.

He said that our theology must inform our imaginations, our vision, the way we see everything. We see our circumstances, in fact everything through our imaginations and so it is necessary to have our imaginations informed by our theology. The image, the vision, the view we have of this life is marred because of the fall. In one sense, we are living in a state of alienation from God because we are living in a world that tells us falsehoods, that paints images that are not real. And so to really understand the truth about this world, about ourselves, about our sin, and about our salvation in Christ must be "imagined" through our knowledge of God and His Word or they will be "vain imaginations." (Romans 1:21) He challenged us to "use our theology in order to use our imaginations rightly."

What a challenge for the new year--to hold fast to God in love, to dwell in the shelter of the Most High, to abide in the shadow of the Almighty. . .to imagine theologically.

Imagine that. . .

New Years Reflections

The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.

- G.K. Chesterton

Look back with reverence and give thanks.
Look ahead with vision and faith and with all the excitement of a child.

- St. Flavia

6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.

7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.

- Jonathan Edwards, from his Resolutions

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown. And he replied: Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light, and safer than a known way.

- Minnie L. Haskins

Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.

- Martin Luther

When we once begin to form good resolutions, God gives us every opportunity of carrying them out.

- St John Chrysostom

Be at war with your vices; at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.

- Benjamin Franklin

No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference. It is that from which all date their time, and count upon what is left. It is the nativity of our common Adam.

- Charles Lamb

New Year's eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.

- Hamilton Wright Mabie

God's Minute

January 1, New Years Day

Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go in to them, and I will praise the Lord.--Psalm 118:19

OUR Heavenly Father, we pause at the opening of this day to place ourselves in harmony with Thy great plans. We know that it is unwise and sinful to oppose or attempt to hinder Thy purposes. Hear our humble appeal for Divine wisdom, for spiritual sensitiveness to Thy messages, for broader views of our duty, and for the peace of God which fills the soul when working in full harmony with Thee. Let each of these blessings be given to all whom we love. Incline them to stop and pray--to watch and act, under the impulses which come from Heaven. Make known Thy love and law to all people in all lands, and hasten the era when all mankind shall accept the teachings of Thy Son, and of the Holy Prophets, and thus in sincere agreement live in peace with all, and in full obedience and devotion to Thy Holy Will. We ask these great blessings in the Name of our Lord Jesus, Thy Son, and our Redeemer.


Russell H. Conwell, D.D.,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania