Monday, August 20, 2012

The “something edifiying”…

What has happened to my excerpts? Well, they’re all still there—I simply keep forgetting to post them! Rather than prevaricate with excuses, I’ll just put it up here with none of my explanatory sentences.

Jonathan Edwards, from Hypocrites deficient in the duty of prayer, a title that I find quite compelling.

What is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained,

when God taketh away his soul? Will God hear his cry when troubnle  trouble cometh upon him?

Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God?”


It is the manner of hypocrites, after a while, in a great measure to leave off the practice of this duty. We are often taught, that the seeming goodness and piety of hypocrites is not of a lasting and persevering nature. It is so with respect to their practice of the duty of prayer in particular, and especially of secret prayer. They can omit this duty, and their omission of it not be taken notice of by others, who know what profession they have made. So that a regard to their own reputation doth not oblige them still to practise it. If others saw how they neglect it, it would exceedingly shock their charity towards them. But their neglect doth not fall under their observation; at least not under the observation of many. Therefore they may omit this duty, and still have the credit of being converted persons…. They may commonly be present at public prayers in the congregation and also at family prayer…But they in great measure leave off the practice of secret prayer. At first they begin to be careless about it, under some particular temptations…. Thus it presently becomes a frequent thing with them to omit it; and after a while, it comes to pass, that they seldom attend it. Perhaps they attend it on Sabbath-days, and sometimes on other days. But they have ceased to make it a constant practice daily to retire to worship God alone, and to seek His face in secret places. They sometimes do a little to quiet their conscience, and just to keep alive their old hope; because it would be shocking to them, even after all their subtle dealing with their consciences, to call themselves converts, and yet totally to live without prayer…

It is natural to one who is truly born from above to pray to God, and to pour out his soul in holy supplications before his heavenly father. This is as natural to the new nature and life as breathing is to the nature and life of the body. But hypocrites have not this new nature… therefore prayer naturally dies away in them, having no foundation laid in the nature of the soul. … The spirit of a true convert is a spirit of faith and reliance on the power, wisdom, and mercy of God, and such a spirit is naturally expressed in prayer. True prayer is nothing else but faith expressed. .. When a hypocrite hath had his false conversion, his wants are in his sense of things already supplied, his desires are already answered; and so he finds no further business at the throne of grace. He never was sensible that he had any other needs, but a need of being safe from hell… But it is far otherwise with the true convert. His work is not done; but he finds still a great work to do, and great wants to be supplied. He sees himself still to be a poor, empty, helpless creature, and that he still stands in great and continual need of God’s help. He is sensible that without God he can do nothing. A false conversion makes a man in his own eyes self-sufficient. He saith he is rich and increased with goods, and hath need of nothing; and knoweth not that he is wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. But after a true conversion, the soul remains sensible of its own impotence and emptiness, as it is in itself, and its sense of it is rather increased than diminished. It is still sensible of its universal dependence on God for every thing. A true convert is sensible that his grace is very imperfect; and he is very far from having all that he desires… So that he hath business enough still at the throne of grace; yea, his business there, instead of being diminished, is rather increased.

The command which requires the practice of the duty of prayer is exceedingly plain: Matt. xxvi. 41. “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.” Eph. vi. 18. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Matt. vi. 6. “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret. As long as the hypocrite was in his own apprehension in continual danger of hell, he durst not disobey these commands. But since he is, as he thinks, safe from hell, he is grown bold, he dares to live in the neglect of the plainest command in the Bible...

I would exhort those who have entertained a hope of their being true converts—and who since their supposed conversion have left off the duty of secret prayer, and ordinarily allow themselves in the omission of it—to throw away their hope. If you have left off calling upon God, it is time for you to leave off hoping and flattering yourselves with an imagination that you are the children of God. Probably it will be a very difficult thing for to you to do this. It is hard for a man to let go a hope of heaven, on which he hath once allowed himself to lay hold, and which he hath retained for a considerable time. True conversion is a rare thing; but that men should be brought off from a false hope of conversion—after they are once settled and established in it, and have continued in it for some time—is much more rare.

But if your case be such as is spoken of in the doctrine, it is surely time for you to seek a better hope, and another work of God’s Spirit, than ever you have yet experienced; something more thorough and effectual. When you find by experience, that the seed which was sown in your hearts, though at first it sprang up and seemed flourishing, is withering away, as by the heat of the sun, or is choked, as with thorns; this shows in what sort of ground the seed was sown, that it is either stony or thorny ground; and that therefore it is necessary you should pass through another change, whereby your heart may become good ground, which shall bring forth fruit with patience.

Once a year…

More pictures of “lately.” I got two days off this week—Great! Working in the heat on Thursday night was rough, but I had the next day off so it wasn’t too bad. However, it just figures that this would be the weekend it’s 90 degrees. Today is cloudy and I am loving it. I look forward to Autumn…

Last few years when the Smiths visit we’ve tried to hang out if we can, and this year it worked out rather well. Volleyball on Sunday night, then early yesterday morning as well… followed by the river! It’s ridiculously cold and swift, but setting lawn chairs in it is perfect when it’s that hot… Once a year only!

Handsome, isn’t he?


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And it’s a perfect day. :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Adventures. Illustrated.

I don’t even know where to begin. Busy is my byword right about now, and there are so many things that have been going on in the last month or two. I’d say it’s summer craziness, but I’m pretty sure it’s just “my life” craziness.

Backwards first.

Visited with the sister/nephew/nieces…



And of course, always, sunday dinners…





Yes, this is where I live. :-)


Whitney is getting married to Lee!!! So exciting. :-) I’m in the wedding, so I threw a family bridal shower for her—with plenty of help!

The menu is the fun part. Smoked salmon cream cheese crostinis (cocktail sauce and dill as the garnish), caprese skewers, cucumber ranch sandwiches, citrus crab salads, and prosciutto goat cheese pear slices. Amazing. :-) Oh, and horseradish bacon cheese dip, as well as a cheddar garlic. And fruit.


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Since I’m off of white refined sugar, my mom took care of the “dessert”. However, she can’t stop at one dessert, so there was a whole table full of options. Rachel and I decided to declare a cheat day on the sugar thing after seeing this sign board… :-) And who can blame us?

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Sparkling cider for each guest.


Aunt Sue, the mother of the bride. All the sisters look alike—Beautiful.


Strawberry lemonade… in rachel’s hand.

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Grandma and Whit.




Did some housesitting. I love it. It’s like, um, having my own house. Except cuter! and in the country! And almost exactly what I want in the future! How perfect is that? Minus one or two essential things, it’s precisely the kind of place I would like to have some day. It’s rather nice to have somewhere to go to just relax and look at the mountain.

They have a dog and several chickens, one of whom ended up dead. Rather unfortunate. (Housesitting FAIL) I think the big angry chickens killed the other one. When I discovered it, I went with the best possible solution—call my dad and ask him to come deal with it. In the meantime, I made myself useful by warding off the ones who were trying to pull apart the carcass. Honestly, those things are terrifiying! They have huge talons and they ruffle up their feathers and run at you. Yes, that was me jumping around like mad in the chicken yard, saying SHOO! Not my finest thirty minutes…

The perpetrators are pictured here… The victim looked a lot like the second picture, pre-expiration:

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And the face I woke up to every day:


On to another day—walking with the kids.

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That’s it for now. Next time will, without a doubt, be something spiritually edifying instead of another endless parade of pictures.