Monday, June 30, 2008

Hymn of the Week: Man of Sorrows

I'm preparing a post on hymns, but since it's not quite ready I thought I'd go ahead and start what I hope will be a regular feature: Hymn of the Week.

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

by Philip Bliss

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wedneday evenings

Wednesday evenings around here were a bit different as of late...my roommates and I would pile into my car and head off to Pete and Cheryl's for a class/study on, all of things, marriage. Both my roommates are in relationships, yet I, the single one, initiated our house going to the class. Why? Well, I want to be married someday--I'd wager most people do--and I figure that starting to prepare now, as a single girl, is a good thing to do. It's helping me to think about what kind of wife I want to be and how I can get there, even now. It's living like I plan to get married (as Candice Watters alluded to in "Get Married: What Women Can Do to Help it Happen). Is it weird? Yes. I got some pretty strange responses when I would tell people of my Wednesday night plans, but that's okay. Hopefully, attending a marriage class as a single will show my husband how I've been preparing for our life together, even while I didn't have a boyfriend, and how seriously I take the role of being a wife.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Book review: With Endless Sight

I can't say no to a free book. Call it a genetic defect (or character trait), but my love of reading and of a bargain beg me to say yes when a free book is offered. That's how I ended up reading "With Endless Sight," by Allison Pittman. Here's the summary...

Born into a life of privilege, fourteen-year-old Belinda never questions her security, even as she leaves Illinois with her family to discover new adventures in the Oregon Territory. But when disaster falls, Belinda is left wounded, weak, and alone. Her faith in God gives her the only strength she knows in a harsh new world.

Belinda’s journey takes her to a snow-covered mining camp and a red-roofed brothel in the Wyoming mountains, but not before she must spend a lonely winter with the man who took away the life she knew. Throughout the grief and hope of a strange land, Belinda must decide if her faith is big enough to allow her to forgive.

The satisfying conclusion to the Crossroads of Grace series, With Endless Sight offers a rich story of family, new beginnings, and the freedom that grace can bring.

Brilliant literature? No, but if you're looking for some light, easy, "beach reading" (as some call it), this book is an enjoyable read that will entertain you.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Internet and You

I've been thinking recently about our attention spans and how the Internet affects them. A recent article in Atlantic Monthly asks [rightfully so] "Is Google Making us Stupid?" and the Boundless Line blog talked about the article as well.

Without going into great detail [mostly because I'm at work and want to be home soon!], I think it's sadly true. Between the Internet where everything is just a click away, [gotta have instant gratification, right?] as well as short conversations on instant messaging and facebook, we've gotten used to having a conversation in snippets and having everything at our fingertips. At my workplace, we use instant messaging as a form of communication in the office, and without a doubt, the older people are, the longer their instant messages are. They're used to writing something with more than two lines, while the rest of us can't help but send four message with one sentence each. Heaven forbid we keep the other person waiting to know each and every thought!

In an attempt to reverse what could become a real problem, I'm trying to read more and be on the Internet less [an unstable Internet connections does wonders for this!].

There are some other avenues I'd like to explore--how t.v. fits into this, as well as the length of sermons in today's church [random, I know] but that's all I have for now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Evening

Someday I'll post something besides quotes from Morning and Evening, but they're just so good. Here is yesterday morning's thought.

“The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.”
— Psalm 126:3

Some Christians are sadly prone to look on the dark side of everything, and to dwell more upon what they have gone through than upon what God has done for them. Ask for their impression of the Christian life, and they will describe their continual conflicts, their deep afflictions, their sad adversities, and the sinfulness of their hearts, yet with scarcely any allusion to the mercy and help which God has vouchsafed them. But a Christian whose soul is in a healthy state, will come forward joyously, and say, “I will speak, not about myself, but to the honour of my God. He hath brought me up out of an horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings: and he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God. The Lord hath done great things for me, whereof I am glad.” Such an abstract of experience as this is the very best that any child of God can present. It is true that we endure trials, but it is just as true that we are delivered out of them. It is true that we have our corruptions, and mournfully do we know this, but it is quite as true that we have an all-sufficient Saviour, who overcomes these corruptions, and delivers us from their dominion. In looking back, it would be wrong to deny that we have been in the Slough of Despond, and have crept along the Valley of Humiliation, but it would be equally wicked to forget that we have been through them safely and profitably; we have not remained in them, thanks to our Almighty Helper and Leader, who has brought us “out into a wealthy place.” The deeper our troubles, the louder our thanks to God, who has led us through all, and preserved us until now. Our griefs cannot mar the melody of our praise, we reckon them to be the bass part of our life’s song, “He hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad.”

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Evening again

Another quote from Morning and Evening, sans any babbling from me:

A sense of Christ’s amazing love to us has a greater tendency to humble us than even a consciousness of our own guilt.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Irony of the Day

This e-mail about a Father's Day contest landed in my inbox today:

"Every Friday throughout the month of June, first-place winners in each category will get a TiVo® box with a year of service! With TiVo®, you can enjoy the TV shows you want when you want, plus TiVo® gives you an opportunity to screen and select programming for your children as well."

Who are the fine folks giving away TiVo? That's right...Focus on the Family! Oh, the irony.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

He IS good

From last night’s reading of Morning and Evening

He is indeed my Master in both senses, a ruling Master and a teaching Master. I delight to run upon his errands, and to sit at his feet. I am both his servant and his disciple, and count it my highest honour to own the double character.

In my experience, I have found him good, so good, indeed, that all the good I have has come to me through him. He was good to me when I was dead in sin, for he raised me by his Spirit’s power; he has been good to me in all my needs, trials, struggles, and sorrows. When he teaches me as my Rabbi, he is unspeakably good, his doctrine is divine, his manner is condescending, his spirit is gentleness itself.

Condescending is normally seen as a negative thing, but how glorious it is when a holy and righteous God condescends to us! He owes us nothing, yet sent His Son “to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10) all because He loves us.

Over on his blog, Jacob also reflected on the goodness of God in Psalm 23…

Looking back over the course of the Christian's life, the regular blessings of God should cause you to look to the future with the firm conviction that the very same God will continue to bless you and supply your needs, all the days of your life.

As C.S. Lewis put it in one of my favorite quotes from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, “He is not safe, but he is good.” He is good, friends. I certainly don’t know why, for I in no way deserve or can earn His goodness, yet He heaps it on me “all the days of my life.” (Ps. 23:6)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Holy Food

One of the blogs I regularly read, Girl Talk, recently ran a series of tributes to Grandmothers. Sadly, I didn't get one sent in before the deadline, but as I read the tributes sent in by readers, I was struck by a common theme running through the notes: food. Here are some quotes...

"She is an EXCELLENT cook!! I can remember countless meals that she created for our family. We looked like a Norman Rockwell painting as we sat around her table, eating fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, peanut beans, and homemade apple pie. Spending the night at Granny's farm, meant waking up to fried eggs, sausage, bacon, and biscuits. She would cook a meal for seven, and then clean up after us and she never had a dishwasher!She would do this joyfully!! I have never heard Granny complain about any household chore."

"She made her delicious meals from scratch, and one of my fondest memories is of watching her roll out and cut homemade noodles on the kitchen table. She made biscuits, mashed potatoes, roast and homemade gravy . . . you name it, she made it - all on that one little table. "

"When a chapter or two had been read, we'd go into the kitchen and I'd help Grandmommy make dinner. The meal was always well planned, balancing vegetables and salad with some type of starch and meat. My two favorites were her sweet and sour meatballs and her chicken divan and biscuits with honey. I'd cut up the vegetables and sprinkle them on top of the salads, always in individual bowls, while we talked about life."

My own personal memories of my grandmothers include food as well. At my grandparent's 60th anniversary celebration last summer, the grandkids got to share some memories, and my grandma's cooking was a popular theme in our tributes. Could it be that there is something holy about this seemingly common act of eating?

Without going into a long theological discourse, meals are all throughout the Bible--not the least of which is the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. We are that "Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life." Simple things in life, the taste of fresh strawberries, a good meal shared with friends are all examples of common grace and are only a small forshadowing of the Meal we will share in God's Kingdom.