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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Warning: Pumpkins, Babies, and Adventures ahead.

All I have is photos, no words this time. Pardon me for not editing them, beyond cropping here or there.
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Today I am enjoying the stormy weather and being thankful that God is in control. If today was July 6, that’s what Spurgeon was thinking about too.
Morning, July 6.
Whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” –Proverbs 1:33
Divine love is rendered conspicuous when it shines in the midst of judgments. Fair is that lone star which smiles through the rifts of the thunder clouds; bright is the oasis which blooms in the wilderness of sand; so fair and so bright is love in the midst of wrath. When the Israelites provoked the Most High by their continued idolatry, He punished them by withholding both dew and rain, so that their land was visited by a sore famine; but while He did this, He took care that His own chosen ones should be secure. If all other brooks are dry, yet shall there be one reserved for Elijah; and when that fails, God shall still preserve for him a place of sustenance; nay, not only so, the Lord had not simply one “Elijah,” but He had a remnant according to the election of grace, who were hidden by fifties in a cave, and though the whole land was subject to famine, yet these fifties in the cave were fed, and fed from Ahab’s table too by his faithful, God fearing steward, Obadiah. Let us from this draw the inference, that come what may, God’s people are safe. Let convulsions shake the solid earth, let the skies themselves be rent in twain, yet amid the wreck of worlds the believer shall be as secure as in the calmest hour of rest. If God will not save His people under heaven, He will save them in heaven. If the world becomes too hot to hold them, then heaven shall be the place of their reception and their safety. Be ye then confident, when ye hear of wars, and rumours of wars. Let no agitation distress you, but be quiet from fear of evil. Whatsoever cometh upon the earth, you, beneath the broad wings of Jehovah, shall be secure. Stay yourself upon His promise; rest in His faithfulness, and bid defiance to the blackest future, for there is nothing in it direful for you. Your sole concern should be to show forth to the world the blessedness of hearkening to the voice of wisdom.
There you have it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I got a call from my papa yesterday… He was standing at the grave of Jonathan Edwards at the time. Previous blog posts reveal me to be rather enamored of the entire Edwards family, so, as seems fitting, here is a bit of Edwards for your day. Lest you believe that I am neglecting Spurgeon, fear not—He may make an appearance tomorrow.
Be directed to sacrifice everything to your soul’s eternal interest. Let seeking this be so much your bent, and what you are so resolved in, that you will make everything give place to it. Let nothing stand before your resolution of seeking the kingdom of God. Whatever it be that you used to look upon as a convenience, or comfort, or ease, or thing desirable on any account, if it stands in the way of this great concern, let it be dismissed without hesitation; and if it be of that nature that it is likely always to be a hindrance, then wholly have done with it, and never entertain any expectation from it more…. Whatever it be that stands in the way of your most advantageously seeking salvation… offer up all such things together, as it were, in one sacrifice, to the interest of your soul… The rich young man was considerably concerned for salvation; and accordingly was a very strict liver in many things: but when Christ came to direct him to go and sell all that he had, and give to the poor, and come and follow him, he could not find in his heart to comply with it, but went away sorrowful. He had great possessions, and set his heart much on his estate, and could not bear to part with it. It may be, if Christ had directed him only to give away a considerable part of his estate, he would have done it; yea, perhaps, if he had bid him part with half of it, he would have complied with it: but when he directed him to throw up all, he could not grapple with such a proposal. Herein the straightness of the gate very much consists; and it is on this account that so many seek to enter in, and are not able. There are many that have a great mind to salvation, and spend great part of their time in wishing they had it, but they will not comply with the necessary means.
Well, I was convicted.

Entirely unrelated and irrelevant--- some shots from the refreshments for the music symposium thing at Faith. I was told to put them up somewhere, and since facebook is temporarily no longer an option…. Yes, my mother did put tables on top of tables, then put a wannabe miniature grand piano on top of that. It’s called thinking on a grand scale. No pun intended.

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Lemon bar things, white chocolate dipped brownies, fudge mint brownie dealios, miniature cupcakes, chocolate dipped strawberries and cream puffs, almond thumbprint cookies, and a couple other things.
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This is the angle they saw as they came out of the concert.
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beverage table
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Chocolate treble clefs top off miniature cupcakes on the main table; chocolate dipped strawberries and creampuffs lining the sides of the beverage table.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I can now be characterized by redundancy and inconsistency. Well may you think “So, what has changed? Why are you writing about something we already know?” My unoriginal, clich├ęd answer to this: “Because that’s who I am.” Marvelous, isn’t it?
I got knocked out of my blogging groove (Or rather, got unstuck from the rut) for a few months, but as of this moment, am back with a vengeance. If my reader-ship drops off slightly in the next five minutes, I understand and hold it against no one. Your waywardness may be forgiven on account of my randomidity. Also, the fact that I make up words when the occasion suits me. Now I am a neologist.
And now, ladies and gentlemen…..
Purpose The First: Disproving the Addiction Theory.  (The coffee one, that is… not the phone one… or the facebook one)
Yes, you read that right. I have come, ready and armed, to my longsuffering computer-blogosphere-interwebcyberspace-world to stand once and for all, proclaiming to the teeming masses (bring me your poor, your weary, etc) that I am addicted to practically nothing. If you have put up with my blog for very long, then you are thinking “Ah, but I KNOW i read a post once in which you admitted addiction.”  Well, yes, that is true. But since then, things have changed. I have changed, in fact, and only slightly for the better. I wish I was addicted to coffee. At least then I could faultily name it a disease, and be justified in spending copious amounts of money on overpriced liquid happiness, calling it “medication” and “necessary.” With many sad sighs, I admit to myself that I am not addicted, and thus remain unjustified. However, this doesn’t stop me from vigilantly marching myself and others down to Starbucks on a fairly regular basis.
Nonetheless, a defense is necessary, because my lattes have been taunting me lately. It’s as if every time I make one, there is a voice whispering, teasing, and trying to convince me that every macchiato or americano is simply a step into the way of addiction. I think it’s become a subliminal thing, because I have three or four people who believe I’m addicted, and have even tried to convince me that I am.
Fact: I’ve gone three days this week without coffee…. No headaches, no cravings.
Fact: I got decaf the last three times I went to Starbucks, with no ill effects. (well, mostly-- life without caffeine is like… sleep!)
Fact: I do not spend every last cent on coffee, as a true addict would do, nor do I scour the gutters searching for quarters to spend on caffeine.
Fact: If I was addicted, I wouldn’t be picky about flavor and lattes and such. I would just be drinking the strong black stuff that my papa manages to consume by the pot.
Fact: Yes, it’s true that  “I love coffee, I love tea, I love the java jive and it loves me.” (line courtesy of the King Sisters, circa 1941) This does not signify addiction.
Fact: Denial does not always mean addiction.
Well, that deals with that. I am clearly not addicted. :)

Purpose The Second: Explanation for you Observant people.
Four or five of my 205 facebook friends have noticed that I am, magically, gone from facebook. (I admit that I am not thrilled with the ratio) Here lies the explanation… Yes, I did de-activate my facebook. No, I didn’t get angry and delete you as a friend. Yes, I’ll be back eventually. No, I may not be able to last until my goal-date of December 4. Yes, I will post plenty of pictures once I’m back on. I think that covers that. 

Thursday, October 07, 2010

At Last…

Lest you be confused from the beginning, let me point out this—No, despite the title, this isn’t a blog centered around Etta James. I do love that song though…. (despite the frustrating current connotations with it and the president. Ugh)
If you know me extremely well, or talk to me fairly often, you know that I’ve been slightly, well, off lately. “Off” meaning the following: Self-absorbed, moderately depressed, un-encouraged, and in general “not as one should be”. (If you didn’t notice this, don’t feel bad…. I try very hard to keep things like that from people. It just speaks for my mad skill at concealment.) In fact, the significance of the “At Last,” is this—At last,  I’m done with this sadness, this frustration that has enveloped me for the last few weeks/months. God is in control, my inheritance is in heaven, and there is nothing strong enough to stop me from rejoicing. This morning, I forced myself to spend some quality hours with my Bible, prayer, and several daily reads. Two of them were so good that I HAVE to share them here. Please read them! I love my excerpts. They save me from having to dig deep inside my brain to come up with the originality and brilliance of theological points that others have already written books on. (Not that it’s stopping me from writing my own book.)
Voices from the Past, October 7.
Our citizenship is in heaven. – Philippians 3:20
Faith enters within the veil and moves the soul out of the valleys of sense to the glories of heaven. The treasures of most men are perishing, earthly, cankered, and moth-eaten treasures. Where is yours, O Christian? Is it in this world, or the next? Is it in present vanities, or future glory? Is it in present contentments, or in an everlasting inheritance? Is it in corn and wine or in the light of God’s countenance? Is it in profits, pleasures, and honours, or in grace and glory? Do you build, plant, and sow for voicespast-01 heaven? Many profess the hope of heaven, but meanwhile in their conversations they savour only earthly things. If a man’s profession is ever so heavenly, but he is overtaken by earthly living, that man’s religion is vain. Never talk of a name in heaven, so long as your heart is buried in the earth. If your heart is earthly, your name is in the earth. Do you live by sense or faith? Do you live upon the earthly, or upon the promises? Is it your highest cause of rejoicing that your name is written in heaven? Do you set your joy and heart upon this mercy? If you could enjoy all the outward blessings imaginable—the fairest estate, highest honours, sweetest children, and the richest pleasures—but in the midst of all these, your conscience troubles you within, you are strangers and enemies to God, you have no part in Christ or His death, and your names are not written in the book of life—O how this would cause your heart to sink before all your blessings! Earthly joys ebb and flow, blossom and wither, but heavenly joys are abiding. No man can take your joy from you. Who would not retire from the noise of a distracting world to rest his soul in the joys of the world to come? Whatever you enjoy in the world—riches, honours, pleasures, children, health, and beauty—let your joy be in God.
Matthew Mead, A Name in Heaven, pp. 44-74

And the second one--
Morning and Evening, Morning October 7.
Wherefore hast Thou afflicted Thy servant?”  -- Numbers 11:11
Our heavenly Father sends us frequent troubles to try our faith. If our faith be worth anything, it will stand the test. Gilt is afraid of fire, but gold is not: the paste gem dreads to be touched by the diamond, but the true jewel fears no test. It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed and the light of our Father’s spurgeon countenance is hidden. A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him,” is heaven-born faith. The Lord afflicts His servants to glorify Himself, for He is greatly glorified in the graces of Hi people, which are His own handiwork. When “tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and experience, hope,” the Lord is honoured by these growing virtues. We should never know the music of the harp if the strings were left untouched; nor enjoy the juice of the grape if it were not trodden in the winepress; nor discover the sweet perfume of cinnamon if it were not pressed and beaten; nor feel the warmth of fire if the coals were not utterly consumed. The wisdom and power of the great Workman are discovered by the trials through which His vessels of mercy are permitted to pass. Present afflictions tend also to heighten future joy. There must be shades in the picture to bring out the beauty of the heavenly lights. Could we be so supremely blessed in heaven, if we had not known the curse of sin and the sorrow of earth? Will not peace be sweeter after conflict, and rest more welcome after toil? Will not the recollection of past sufferings enhance the bliss of the glorified? There are many other comfortable answers to the question with which we opened our brief meditation, let us muse upon it all day long.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
I hope you were encouraged a bit by these… They did wonders for me.

Friday, October 01, 2010

….and there will be rejoicing…

As a rule, I try to keep my blog less introspective. I don’t like opening my heart to everyone who peruses the internet. But there are some days when I can’t possibly keep it inside!
The Lord is good. There are some weeks, and days, when  it feels that grace abounds even more than normal. He doesn’t give us what we deserve, and for that we should be thankful. When I consider what I do deserve, thankfulness overcomes me for the endless blessings in my life. To put it briefly, the last couple months have found me praying about lots of different things, problems, and decisions, with plenty of stress and trepidation. This last week was a time period when it was clear to me that through the last year and half, He was working things out and planning things that I had no clue about. I can’t say that I was completely cheerful through the whole process (or even that I was constantly trusting Him alone), but there are times that despite temporary trials and troubles, God’s apparent power and sovereignty demand tribute. Even a few small everyday occurrences have been nearly blinding with the obviousness of God’s hand working through them. Today, I stand before His throne and praise Him. I am rejoicing because He is God, and more than we can imagine. He is more holy than we will ever be, and is a righteousness that cannot be compared.  His power is greater than any and all, and frightening in its wrath. He is the God of peace, who comforts the weeping, and gives grace to the humble. Our praises will never fully encompass His attributes, and yet He continually reveals them to us in scripture and daily life. That being said, I have lots to be happy about!

On an entirely unrelated note….. that leaves me with nothing but a couple pictures. Happy ones.
papa's office

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