Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Tuning Part Two: How to Play the Fiddle

Tuning Part One : How to Play the Fiddle

Left Hand Positioning

How to Grip the Bow for Playing the Fiddle

How to Put on New Violin Strings: Pt 2

How to Put on New Violin Strings: Pt 1

How to Tune a Violin With New Strings

It's a boy!

Travis Michael at about 2 hours old
Born Dec 23 at 11:38 pm to Todd and Amber, fellow covenanting friends from Alaska, Travis was 9 lbs 8oz at 21 ½”long. His big brother Duke was brought in to meet him for the first time late in the evening. The next morning a little sleepy and confused he made his way to his parents room to eliminate his uncertainty. "Mom, did you have a baby last night or did I just dream it?"
Many congratulations and thanks for sharing your joy with us!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How to Play Vibrato on the Fiddle by Jay Buckey

I have been looking around lately for fiddle sheet music and today I came across Jay Buckey. Here is Part One and Part Two of his fiddle vibrato instruction. He also has free tablatures available for download here. Enjoy. www.jaybuckey.com

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Have you ever taken note of the fact that while looking through clothing catalogs, your eye is very often drawn only the articles of clothing and not to the model who is wearing them?

The reason for this phenomenon is very simple. The clothing manufacturer is trying to sell the clothes, not the models. They intentionally dress the models in colors that are not suitable for their hair, eyes, or skin tone. The color of the garment being modeled becomes the focal point rather than the model's face.

This is important to consider when choosing clothing for ourselves. Modesty dictates that our clothes draw attention to our face and eyes rather than our bodies. When a person wears colors that compliment the way God created them, the effect will be a spotlight on their face.

Here Milly is sitting through a draping session where colors of all seasons are tested against her skin tone.

Just as God has created four seasons in nature, so he has created each one of us to be complimented by the color scheme of one of these seasons.

There are two basic divisions of color, the warm or yellow under toned colors and the cool or blue under toned colors. Within each of these divisions there are two more groups. Within the warm colors, there are Autumn and Spring and on the cool side there are Summer and Winter.

Someone in the Autumn category will look great in colors such as the warm browns, oranges, and mustard yellow one would see outdoors in the fall. Their colors are strong, both vivid and muted (powdered). A Spring looks best in clear colors, either bright or delicate but never muted or extremely dark. A Winter should choose clear, true, vivid colors such as black, pure white, or jewel tones. Summer's colors would be softer- clear or muted but less intense than Winter colors.

From L-R: Autumn, Summer, Winter, and Spring color fans.

Color fans make shopping for clothes so much easier. You no longer have to waste time and money trying on or purchasing items that will just end up hanging in the closet never being worn. Most of the time people tend to gravitate toward their season's colors without knowing it, but when an article of clothing from the wrong season is bought because, "It's such a great deal" well, it ends up not being such a great deal after all because they never end up wearing it.

Miss Renae turned out to be an Autumn, just like her Momma who is watching in the background.

Color seasons are hereditary. For the most part, a person will be the same season as one of their parents. In the rare case that a person isn't, it would mean that their color season had been inherited from a generation prior to their parent's generation.

Why is it important to have your small children analyzed? Children that are wearing the wrong colors often look like they have dirty faces. It doesn't matter how many times you lick your thumb and scrub their chins the dirty look won't go away. This can be important if family pictures are coming up!

Only a Spring could get away with wearing that.
Men also need to have their colors done. In the wrong colors they can look unshaven, blotchy and even sickly. When working in a public arena, looking sharp plays an important in making a good impression.

Millie is a Winter.

As a side note, this particular color Millie is draped in is one of what we call cross-over colors. It may be worn by someone of any color season. A fact which could come in handy for situations such as choosing bridesmaids dresses that everyone will look good in. Crossover and neutral colors are helpful if there are multiple seasons living in a home. Decisions about home decor and linens (etc.) can be made much easier this way if you know what your family members seasons are. Often when one sees a pallet of colors in their season they find that there are many more colors that they will branch out into.

Checking for eye harmony colors. Mrs. B is an Autumn.
It's amazing how many colors God has created our eyes with.
Finding your eye harmony colors, and there can be many, is a wonderful thing to do. Do you ever wonder how some people's eyes stand out stunningly? Is it just because God gave them big blues? Actually, when you wear something that is in harmony with one of your eye colors, your eyes become radiant beacons bursting with color. And you thought it was photo editing ;o)
Once you know what season you are you will also be able to determine what make-up will compliment you. The nice thing about having makeup from your color season is that you can have one set of makeup that will match any outfit you put on, assuming it's also from your season. No more matching red toned shadows with your red toned blouse etc. All the colors in your season's color pallet go together so no matter what you decide to wear, your look will be complete.

Voter Resources

David Barton and Wallbuilders known for presenting America's forgotten history and heros with an emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitutional heritage, have put together a page of election resources and information. You can register if necessary, make comparisons between candidates on biblical issues, track Federal legislation and view voting records and much more.

Also there are excellent resources produced by Wallbuilders:

The enemies of sin

We do not walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we are called if we be not faithful friends to all Christians, and sworn enemies to all sin. ~Matthew Henry on Ephesians 4

Monday, December 03, 2007

Bread Machine Success

Auto bakers can be frustrating. Andrea and I have spent time perfecting a recipe that we have used again and always had success with. It is whole wheat, sweet and the kids loved it. What more could you ask for? Here is the recipe and a recent success story.
Whole Wheat Honey Bread
2lb loaf~Whole Wheat Mode~Medium Crust
3cups (store bought) wheat flour
6Tbsp softened butter
1tsp salt
1Tbsp Gluten (leveled off)
8 Tbsp honey
9.5 oz of warm water (nuke 35 seconds)
1Tbsp of active dry yeast
Variation #1: 3 cups home ground flour requires 2.5Tbsp of gluten.
Variation #2: 2.5 tsp of instant (rapid rise) dry yeast requires 8oz of warm water.

"Praise the Lord, the bread worked!!!! It is beautiful!!!!! Very
round on top, a delicious color of brown, easy to cut and tastes
wonderful!!! I was a little concerned at first because it wasn't
rising well, but when it beeped, it was done! I was beside myself.
Thanks soooooo much for the new recipe!!! If it wouldn't be too much
of a problem I need some more ground wheat, I will bring 20 cups (grain) on
Tuesday regardless. Thanks so much for y'alls support and guidence!
God Bless,

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Valley of Vision: The All Good

The All Good

My God,
Thou hast helped me to see,
that whatever good be in honor and rejoicing,
how good is he who gives them, and can withdraw them;
that blessedness does not lie so much
in receiving good from and in thee, but
in holding forth thy glory and virtue:
that it is an amazing thing
to see Diety in a creature, speaking, acting,
filling, shining though it;
that nothing is good but thee,
that I am near good when I am near thee,
that to be like thee is a glorious thing:
This is my magnet, my attraction.

Thou art all my good in times of peace,
my only support in days of trouble,
my one sufficiency when life will end.
Help me to see how good thy will is in all,
and even when it crosses mine
teach me to be pleased with it,
Grant me to feel free in fire, and food and every providence
and to see that thy many gifts and creatures
are but thy hands and fingers taking hold of me.
Thou bottomless fountain of all good,
I give myself to thee out of love,
for all I have or own is thine,
my goods, my family, church, self,
to do with as thou wilt,
to honor thyself by me, and by all mine.
If it be consistent with thy eternal counsels,
the purpose of thy grace,
and the great ends of thy glory,
then bestow upon me the blessings of thy comforts;
If not, let me resign myself to thy wiser determinations.

An Excerpt

"...they found the Lord to be with them in all their ways, and to bless their outgoings and incomings, for which let His holy name have the praise forever, to all posterity.
They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to prepare their houses for the winter, being well recovered in health and strength, and plentifully provisioned; for while some had been thus employed in affairs away from home, others were occupied in fishing for cod, bass, and other fish, of which they caught a good quantity, every family having their portion, all the summer there was no want. And now, as winter approached, wild fowl began to arrive, of which there were plenty when they came here first, though afterwards they became more scarce. As well as wild fowl, they got abundance of wild turkeys, besides venison, etc. Each person had about a peck of meal a week, or now, since harvest, Indian corn in that proportion; and afterwards many wrote at length about their plenty to their friends in England,--not feigned but true reports."

From "Of Plymouth Plantation" Bradford's History of the Plymouth Settlement 1608-1650

Thursday, November 15, 2007


"When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not.” Mark Twain

He will because He has...

"Hitherto hath the Lord helped us." —1 Samuel 7:12
The word "hitherto" seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and yet, "hitherto the Lord hath helped!" Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honour, in dishonour, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, "hitherto hath the Lord helped us!" We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves; even so look down the long aisles of your years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear up your joys. Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received "hitherto."
But the word also points forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark and writes "hitherto," he is not yet at the end, there is still a distance to be traversed. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No! there is more yet-awakening in Jesu's likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fulness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. O be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise thy "Ebenezer," for—
He who hath helped thee hithertoWill help thee all thy journey through.
When read in heaven's light how glorious and marvellous a prospect will thy "hitherto" unfold to thy grateful eye!

Charles Spurgeon
Morning and Evening- dec. 29

Friday, September 28, 2007

Donna Martin on a Meek and Quiet Spirit.

"I have been a born again Christian for nearly 20 years, and I’ve studied the Bible and attended college level Bible courses, but I have never studied the meek and quiet spirit that scripture speaks of. When I found a book by Matthew Henry, a Puritan pastor, which was written in the late 1600's on this very subject, I decided to read it. As I passed from chapter to chapter, I questioned myself of whether I had this spirit he spoke of. Scripture shows in 1 Peter 3:4 that God places great value in the ones that possess a meek and quiet spirit, so I hoped that together we can see where we stand in this gifting. "

Read her post in it's entirety here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Something to look forward to!

Andrea and I had the blessing of meeting and speaking with Mrs. Duggar at the 2006 SAICFF. She was gracious enough to share some personal one-on-one time with us, getting to know us, and encourage us in our commitment to be stay-at-home daughters preparing to be wives and mothers some day. While there were many seminars and films being shown in several different meeting rooms making it very difficult to pick which to go to there was one we both unquestionably put a star by. Q & A with Mama. One of the stories she shared is captured here in a message that is on the Duggar Family Website. Enjoy! It's something to look forward to!

A Message To Mothers From Michelle Duggar

It was 1:00 AM in the morning as I stood folding laundry with tears streaming down my cheeks. Feelings of being overwhelmed flooded my mind. I cried aloud, "LORD I NEED YOUR HELP, I can't do it all! I feel so inadequate! Diapers, dishes, laundry, meals, cleanup, school lessons, baths, hugs, kisses, correction..." My list seemed to go on and on.

Then it was as if a still small voice said, "Michelle, it's easy to praise ME when things are going good, but are you willing to praise ME now?" Immediately the scripture that says, "Offer up a sacrifice of praise", came to mind.

I said, "OK Lord, I will praise you even now! It really is a sacrifice!" So through the tears I began to sing, "The joy of the Lord is my strength". In my heart there was a release as if a burden had been lifted. I finished the laundry at 2 AM and went to bed.

Days later, I was at our piano teacher's home (at 7 AM) trying to catch up on paperwork while the children were taking their lessons. Instead, I kept drifting off to sleep! The teacher noticed and asked, "Are you OK?" I replied, "I'm fine, I'm just tired. I was up late finishing laundry."

As we talked more she said that she actually enjoyed doing laundry and that she would be glad to come and help me! That weekend when she arrived we had mountains of dirty laundry, and when she left we had nice, neat, orderly stacks of clean laundry! For 10 years now, our piano teacher, whom we consider a part of our family and loving call "NaNa" has faithfully come (now twice a week) to help us with laundry! GOD sent "An angel" in answer to my cry for help.

He is faithful to hear the humble cries of his children. "Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up." God lifted my burden (literally mountains of laundry!) and freed me to meet the more urgent needs of my family. "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory..."

Remember mothers, where God guides He provides!

With Love,
MichelleProverbs 3:5-7

Ang & the Invisible Woman

Honesty 101 is now in session.

I've been wallowing in my small little problems. Rolling my eyes (and wiping tears from them) when yet another minor catastrophe bombards my day. I feel like nobody notices or cares quite enough about the woes of Ang's world, and so I talk about them all day long to be sure everyone is listening.

"Angela Marie Stump!"

"Yes, Lord?"

"I'm listening, and I'm not sure I like what I hear. You want recognition for each diaper you change and pity for your circumstances from a stranger? What about your eternal reward? Is my 'well done' not enough for you?"Hmmm. Right. Needed a little perspective, didn't I. Well, I found it with the help of the Bible's promises, and a short story someone forwarded to me. I'm condensing it, but here's the part that got me:

The Invisible Woman by Nicole Johnson

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip! and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, "I brought this for you."

Read Ang Stump's post in it's entirety here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The White Haired Man On George Street

Do you ask yourself often, what can "just one person" do? Can one person really make a difference? Before you answer, remember with God anything is possible.

Listen to the testimony of Mr. Genor and how God used him down in a tourist place called George Street. It's the most incredible witnessing testimony I've every heard in my life. It's my prayer it will touch your life and challenge you to sell out for the Lord.

Designed for Him...

During discussions with my daughter and other unmarried women across the United States including various countries, it is amazing to hear the diverse interests young ladies hold as the Lord prepares them for their future callings. Considering the beautiful role given to adapt "help meet" to one's husband, it is so edifying to hear how the Lord is working this incredible plan in these dear girls. Many interests young women hold, may be the very encouragment needed to help their future husband "win the battle" to succeed in life.
I spent many years considering "why?"

Read the rest here.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Connie's Thoughts

I hope you appreciate this as much as I did.

"I can remember in my younger years. I had to learn a very valuable lesson. If someone was acting angry or unhappy, I just automatically thought that it had something to do with me. Sometimes quiet by accident , I would later learn what the real problem was and in fact it had nothing to do with me at all. This happened to me many times before I finally let the Lord teach me that unless someone directly said to me that they were acting a certain way because of me, I now just take for granted that they have had a bad day for some reason or another that has nothing to do with me. I am so very glad that I learned that lesson because I spent many wasted hours worring about somethings that I had no control over."

"Sometimes we let things that happen around us bother us so bad that we actually lose our tempers over things that are none of our business. These actions could lead to wrath. We need to be very careful how we are using our ears, our mouth and our emotions. We need to be pleasing God above all in our actions."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

At home on the range...

At home on the range.

While shooting sports are generally characterized as being "men only" territory, I have to say that this is a misconception. They are very enjoyable and a great family pastime. Would I rather be rocking a baby than out on the range? The obvious answer is "yes" of course. But it must be known that women are perfectly capable of engaging in such a sport, can still remain "ladies,"and have a fun time doing it.

Part of womanhood is being a responsible overseer of the birds in her nest, be they her children or younger siblings. If a woman doesn't understand a firearm or firearm safety, she'll be afraid to use it or over see the use of one. Knowledge brings much peace. Another part of womanhood is trusting a young marksman as her protector. Since we have no brothers and children at this point we find ourselves very blessed to have experienced what this is like.

One of my favorite times with Gator has been inventing our own target system (multi-colored cans hanging from a clothes hanger) and shooting them with B-B guns. It was a great time of creativity and practice of the range rules. It was also a great opportunity to "Ooo" and "Awe" over his dead-eye capabilities.

Knowing the mechanics of a gun is no different than knowing the mechanics of a sewing machine. Mechanics are mechanics.

There is nothing scary and stressful about guns. They are loud, but so is a grain grinder. They require a higher state of alertness and education, but so does driving a car, using knives, sewing machines and mixers.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Three Cheers...

Three Cheers are in order! Two for the Vaughn family for finding this wonderful testimony and posting it on their blog and one BIG one for Pastor Steven J. Cole the author the kindly shared this wonderful testimony.

"How John Calvin led me to repent of Christian Psychology"

An excerpt:

"After about 13 years in the pastorate, God graciously whacked my on the side of the head with a two-by-four to show me where I had drifted off course"

"As this elder and I were discussing Cloud's approach (the author of a christian psychology book), he told me that people like his wife who were from dysfunctional homes could not relate to my preaching because I emphasize obedience to God's word. Because they had strict, cold, authoritarian fathers, they don't relate well to authority. I replied that I thought that I also put a strong emphasis on God's grace as the motivation for obedience. But he responded that his wife couldn't even relate to God's grace--it went right by her. I was a bit taken aback, and so I said, 'You mean that the many times I have spoken on God's grace, she didn't hear me?' He said yes in her 20 years on Crusade staff, never once had she felt God's grace and love on a personal level."

"I thought about what he had said and asked some clarifying questions to make sure that I understood him. Then I responded, 'If you wife has never felt God's love and grace, she is not converted!'"

"This elder got very upset with me. But I stuck to my guns then and do so now, that if a person can sit in church for 20 years and never be moved by God's grace and love as shown to us at the cross, then that person is not truly converted."

"As I thought about what this elder, my associate, Henry Cloud, and others in their camp were saying, I realised that, in effect, they were saying that the transforming power of the gospel, which has sustained the saints in and through every conceive able trial, was not sufficient to deal with the emotional problems of these late 20th century Christians."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dr. D. James Kennedy Funeral Archive

Funeral Service Webcast Archive

Some 4,000 people are expected at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, September 13, to remember and celebrate the life of Dr. D. James Kennedy, the longtime senior minister of Coral Ridge Church and founder of Coral Ridge Ministries, his Christian broadcasting outreach. You can join those who knew and loved Dr. Kennedy, or were touched by his message and ministry by watching the live webcast of his memorial service at 1 pm EDT on Thursday, September 13.

Service participants will include Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman of the Board Dr. James Dobson as keynote speaker; eulogies from National Religious Broadcasters President and CEO Dr. Frank Wright and Amway Corporation Co-Founder Richard DeVos; a family testimony from daughter Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy and statements read by a representative of President George W. Bush and grandson of evangelist Billy Graham.

Dr. D. James Kennedy Funeral Webcast in Progress

Go here to see the webcast of Dr. D. James Kennedy's funeral. Click the link on the left next to view webcast.

The webcast is running again starting at 2:20pm central time if you missed it at noon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Cost of Delaying Marriage

Young ladies need to know that this is absolutely true.

What we rarely hear – or perhaps are too fearful to admit – is how liberating marriage can actually be.

Our grandmothers, we are told, took husbands the way we might choose our first apartment. There was a scheduled viewing, a quick turn about the interior, a glance inside the closets, a nervous intake of breath as one read the terms of the lease, and then the signing – or not. You either felt a man’s charms right away or you didn’t. If you didn’t, you entertained a few more prospects until you found one who better suited you. If you love him, really loved him, all the better. But you also expected to make compromises. The view may not be great, but it’s sunny and spacious (translation: he’s not that handsome, but he’s sweet-natured and will be a good provider).

Whether you accepted or rejected him, however, you didn’t dawdle. My late mother-in-law, who married at twenty, told me that in her college circles in the mid-1950s, a man who took a woman out for more than three dates without intending marriage was considered a cad. Today, the man who considered marriage so rashly would be thought a fool. Likewise, a woman.

Instead, like lords or sailors of yore, a young woman is encouraged to embark upon the world, seek her fortune and sow her oats, and only much later – closer to 30 than 20 – consider the possibility of settling down. Even religious conservatives, who disapprove of sex outside of marriage, accept the now- common wisdom that it is better to put off marriage than do it too early. The popular radio host, Laura Schlessinger, traditional in so many of her views, constantly tells her listeners not to consider going to the altar much before thirty. In 1965, nearly 90 percent of women aged 25 to 29 were married; by 1996, only 56 percent of women in this age group were. Indeed, the more educated and ambitious a woman is the more likely she is to delay marriage and children, the Census Bureau reports. And if she doesn’t – if such a young woman decides to get married, say, before she is25 – she risks being regarded by her friends as a tragic figure, spoken of the way wartime generations once mourned the young man killed in battle: "How unfortunate, with all that promise, to be cut down so early in life!"

I remember congratulating a young woman upon her recent marriage to a friend of mine and commenting perfunctorily that both of them must be very happy. She was 24 at the time. She grabbed my hand, held it, and said with emotion, "Thank you!" As it turned out, I’d been the only woman to offer her congratulations without immediately expressing worry that she’d done the wrong thing. Her single female friends had greeted her wedding announcement as a kind of betrayal. A few had managed to stammer some grudging best wishes. Her best friend nearly refused to be a bridesmaid. They simply couldn’t fathom why she’d tossed away her freedom when she was barely out of college. And she, in turn, couldn’t convince them that she really had met the man she wanted to marry, that she didn’t want to keep going out to bars in the evenings and clubs on the weekends, postponing her marriage for half a decade until she reached an age that her friends would consider more suitable.

In this sense, we lead lives that are exactly the inverse of our grandmothers’. If previous generations of women were raised to believe that they could only realize themselves within the roles of wife and mother, now the opposite is thought true: It’s only outside these roles that we are able to realize our full potential and worth as human beings. A 20-year-old bride is considered as pitiable as a 30-year-old spinster used to be. Once a husband and children were thought to be essential to a woman’s identity, the source of purpose in her life; today, they are seen as peripherals, accessories that we attach only after our full identities are up and running.

Read on and find out what really is the cost of delaying marriage.

Marriage the Great Liberator

For decades, marriage has been viewed with the same kind of disdain as wearing pantyhose. Sometimes it's necessary, but put it off as long as possible; when possible, avoid it; and once it's served its purpose, you can easily discard it. And because of comments like Betty Friedan's (about a woman needing a man like a fish needs a bicycle), over the last 50 years, women have been encouraged to shirk the desire to marry and feel guilty when that desire arises within them....But, Christian thinkers all over the blogosphere-- and the real world ;) -- are encouraging the young Christians in America to resist the world's influence in this area of delaying marriage.

Christian marriage is actually quite the opposite of the jail cell that feminists implied it to be.

Here is the post in it's entirety

The Myth of the Perfect family

"We’re not to serve God by pretending life is easy for us or that we have it all down perfectly, because it’s not and we don’t. The world needs an honest depiction of real down-to-earth people living out real life to the glory of God."

Read the words of a wonderful Titus 2 woman Stacey McDonald as she reveals that nobody is perfect and explains how setting up such false idols destroys the productiveness of the family and the covenant community.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Society vs. the Biological Clock...

The last century of mainstream American society has played a vicious trick on women by feeding us a big fat lie.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Currently Reading...

George Muller of Bristol
The story of a man who practiced true religion by caring for thousands of orphans and provided a living demonstration to the believers of his day that God is able to supply the needs of those who give generously to Him.

Read the online version here. Hardback copies available here.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

What is THAT......?

THAT...No not that...that is Andrea's foot.
But THAT is a watermelon! A definate blue ribbon beauty.

My First Year of Full-Time Homemaking...A Testimony

Sam and Rebecca Coleman are members of our church and a delight to know. It was just over a year ago that we posted about Bringing Home Rebecca. We asked Rebecca on this special anniversary what this last year has meant to her.
Here is her response:
As I began to think about the joys of being a full-time home-maker it seemed as if all my reasons had to do with me, me, me, and the pleasures I get to enjoy, but really they aren’t. I just have the benefit of receiving joy because of the duties I have been able to perform since my loving husband brought me home from work one year ago. I have been able to be a much better helpmeet to him and it has very much strengthened our walk with the Lord.

For starters, our life simply runs smoother and much more efficiently because I run the household with order, which has given us free time in the evening to study and learn from the word of God. The same time that used to be spent catching up on cooking, cleaning and household planning because I was at work all day. The time that is now spent in whatever pursuit my husband chooses. I have the pleasure of living life on his schedule and I don’t have to ask the boss for time off. My “boss” now tells me when we are taking time off and there’s not even paperwork for me to fill out. I can dedicate my whole schedule to what he feels I should be spending my time on. I no longer have another man to boss me around and demand my time, draining me of precious energy that could and should be dedicated elsewhere.

Being home has allowed me some the most precious opportunities to help our covenant family. I have been able to cook, clean and simply spend time with new mothers and their babies. New babies are one of my favorite joys of this earthly life and because my husband brought me home from work I have been able to help new moms with their new babies in whatever capacity their family needed. And I have been able to just be there to make a phone call or to write letters to those who simply needed encouragement.

Some of the joys come from simply being in my house all day and are more rewarding than I ever thought. Who thought that being able to go the bathroom when I want and for however long I need without co-workers clock-watching would bring such peace to me. It is amazing what a little privacy can do for a person.

I get to eat my breakfast when I want. I am not forced to have lunch at the same time every day and I can start dinner for it to be ready just in time for my husband to walk through the door. And, I am there every day to greet him when he walks through that door.

All day long I get to choose the background noise of my home. I no longer have to listen to the radio station of my boss next door or the overhead music of someone else’s choosing. I get to choose positive, uplifting messages and music that glorify God all day long. Or I can choose to sit and read a book in the afternoon. Or if it gets cold (and that is rare in Texas) I can take my favorite blanket made by my Mammaw and throw it in the dryer to warm it up, then snuggle up on the sofa with a book and see how long it takes me to fall asleep and enjoy one of life’s other small pleasures; a nap in the afternoon.

So, you can see how all these things make “me” happy, but they’ve also made my husband very happy. I am much more joyful and relaxed about dedicating my time and efforts to him and the tasks he sets before me. He loves having me on his schedule and available to him anytime day or night. He has a pleasant wife to come home to that loves him and cares for him. He has peace in the knowledge that God gave me to him to be his helpmeet and now I dedicate my time to one man and one man only. I am blessed far more than I could write about in this one article. Suffice it to say that I am thankful to my loving husband who follows our blessed Lord. I look forward to many more years of home-making, home cooking and of course, the joys of motherhood.
Thank you so much Rebecca for sharing with us. May God bless all the years to come.

Visit Rebecca here at Patriot Ranch

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Dr. D. James Kennedy

"Dr. Kennedy was indefatigable in his ministry work"

From the Blog of the Executive Vice President of Coral Ridge Ministries, Brian Fisher

Dr. D. James Kennedy Memorial website.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Proverbs 31 & HiddenArms.com

What exactly IS Hidden Arms?

Hidden arms is a small company, created for the purpose of offering quality concealed carry options for those gun owners in the real world.

Many of us have a concealed carry permit, but no way to practically carry our firearms. A quality concealed carry rig would need to be flexible, small, durable, comfortable, and most importantly, concealable. Unfortunately, most concealed carry rigs just don't fit the bill. They're either too bulky, too uncomfortable, or just plain impractical in today's world.

Hidden Arms offers a better solution, custom created by and for people who carry their firearms with them every day of their lives, and know what's needed for the optimum concealed carry product.

Now you see it....

Now you don't.

What does this have to do with Proverbs 31?
This is our way of:

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31:13

Matthew Henry Comments on Proverbs 31:13
(4.) She applies herself to the business that is proper for her. It is not in a scholar’s business, or statesman’s business, or husbandman’s business, that she employs herself, but in women’s business: She seeks wool and flax, where she may have the best of each at the best hand, and cheapest; she has a stock of both by her, and every thing that is necessary to the carrying on both of the woollen and the linen manufacture (v. 13), and with this she does not only set the poor on work, which is a very good office, but does herself work, and work willingly, with her hands; she works with the counsel or delight of her hands (so the word is); she goes about it cheerfully and dexterously, lays not only her hand, but her mind to it, and goes on in it without weariness in well-doing. She lays her own hands to the spindle, or spinning-wheel, and her hands hold the distaff (v. 19), and she does not reckon it either an abridgment of her liberty or a disparagement to her dignity, or at all inconsistent with her repose. The spindle and the distaff are here mentioned as her honour, while the ornaments of the daughters of Zion are reckoned up to their reproach, Isa. 2:18, etc.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth [it]; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Proverbs 31:24
Matthew Henry Comments on Proverbs 31:24
(4.) She trades abroad. She makes more than she and her household have occasion for; and therefore, when she has sufficiently stocked her family, she sells fine linen and girdles to the merchants (v. 24), who carry them to Tyre, the mart of the nations, or some other trading city. Those families are likely to thrive that sell more than they buy; as it is well with the kingdom when abundance of its home manufactures are exported. It is no disgrace to those of the best quality to sell what they can spare, nor to deal in trade and send ventures by sea.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Chocolate, Chocolate Cookies

Now you can tell from the name what "the favorite" around here is.
This recipe does come with variations, but when it comes to the choice of whether or not to add more chocolate to the batch the answer is obvious and unanimous. I have also added my honey whole wheat version along side the terribly unhealthy (guilt, guilt, guilt) version.
Chocolate, Chocolate Cookies
Heat oven to 350' (or 325' if you will be using honey)
In large mixer bowl cream:
1 1/4 cup of butter or margarine softened
2 cups of sugar (or 1 cup of honey)
until light and fluffy. (There's no fluff when using honey)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla
beat well.
2 cups of flour (or 2 1/2-2/3/4 if you used honey)
3/4 cup of cocoa
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Blend into creamed mixture gradually.
Stir in:
2 cups of Chocolate chips or peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips.
Drop on cookie sheet. Bake 8 or 9 minutes. (You may have to cook longer if you used whole wheat and honey) Do not over bake! Cookies will be soft. They will puff while cooking and flatten while cooling. (Unless you used whole wheat flour and honey.) Let cool 5 minutes on cookies sheet before removing to cooling rack...Invite me over to have some...;o)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

God: the homeschooling Father

Q: What’s it like having the knowledge that you are a product of the public school system? Especially when you look around and see all these brilliant home school kids?

A: Being a product of the public school system has made me acutely aware of my need for the Savior. In order to accomplish anything that requires a real education, I have had to rely solely on Him. The time I have spent with Him as my Heavenly Homeschool Teacher has taught me a lot about Him; what He’s like and what plans He has for me. I can imagine that it has been a blessing to Him too having a blank slate to work with.

I don’t mind knowing that I am a “nobody” in conjunction with the fact that God is a “somebody.” In fact this arrangement means everything to me for many reasons. Most importantly I have gotten to know God better because of this providence.

He is Omniscient and Omnipresent.

First He is always with me, readily available with instruction, and that comforts and frees me from any anxiety that I will be a failure. As it is that I don’t bring much, and should probably say “nothing” to the table, He is always present to make a greater sacrifice and carry the greater part of the burden that I cannot shoulder; thus He is my ever-present help and my exploits can be accomplished.

I know that He will be there for my every need in the future because He has proven that by being there again and again in the past.

Midnight answers are the most exciting to receive. I have learned to have paper and pen at my bedside. There has been many a time when God has awoken me with an answer to a puzzling situation.

Because He is omniscient He is the “great resource manual” and has all the biblically sound answers I need to reconcile any question. That is why I ask Him. He’s never left me stumped…forever…(smiling) One of the pages in His manual has the instructions of how to work with Kelly. He knows me, what works, what doesn’t.

He teaches me differently than they taught me. He has been kind in giving instruction and a comfort to me as I worked.

He has taught me to focus. I have to “keep my eyes on Him” by continually going to him with questions in order to get the answers He had for me… an excellent remedy for a scatterbrain and possible ADHD case. He has what I want. The answers!

He didn’t mind working with a blank slate. He takes me from where I am to where I need to be and isn’t frustrated with me. He doesn’t allow me to use the excuses the public school did. Where I once was a slow reader/learner and was tagged so, God has shown me that this is not the truth at all. I left high school having never read an entire book in my life. Now my love for books far exceeds many things and my library shelves are running over. (Onto the floor over my desk and under the bed)

He also knows when to give an answer and when to make me work for it. He disciplines me.
He leads me or directs which way I should go in a project, rather than leaving me behind stumped and discouraged. He wipes away worries and fears of lack of accomplishment or creativity or knowledge. Sometimes I don’t even know what questions to ask and He says “try this” and in the course of trying it I learn how to think and what questions to ask the next time around when I am stumped. He’s taught me how to trouble shoot and this has boosted my confidence.

Parting Thoughts:

God doesn’t put a premium on stupidity…

Pro 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding.
Pro 3:21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:
Pro 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget [it] not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.
Pro 4:7 Wisdom [is] the principal thing; [therefore] get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Pro 4:11 I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.
Pro 8:11 For wisdom [is] better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

God used me because once I was usable, not just because I was a blank slate but in conjunction with my brokenness. Having acknowledged that my life had been a waste apart from Him His lordship and laws, I was able in that brokenness to see my need for the Savior.

More to Come:
English lessons. He hasn’t helped me with my grammar yet…;o)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Currently Reading...

Jonathan Goforth, 1859-1936, Missionary to China.
As a poor Canadian farm boy, Jonathan Goforth had no idea that he would spend most of his life braving disaster, danger, and disease to share God's love with the people of China. But when God led him to do just that, nothing, not even the violent Boxer Rebellion, would stop Jonathan and his family from answering God's call.

The book is available here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Who shall prosper?

"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy." Pro 28:13

As seen in this wonderful video clip God and Hollywood presented by Ray comfort and http://www.wayofthemaster.com/

Ray Comfort will be speaking at this year's San Antonio Independant Christian Film Festival sponsored by Vision Forum, Panavision, Final Draft, and Extreme Meetings.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Currently Reading...

As Mr. Bradrick suggested on his CD "Bewitched by the World"
An excerpt from the introduction by Norman P. Grubb:
"I learned and saw that revival is first personal and immediate. It is the constant experience of any simplest Christian who "walks in the light," but I saw that walking in a the light means an altogether new sensitiviness to sin, a calling things by their proper name of sin, such as pride, hardness, doubt, fear, self pity, which are often passed over as merely human reaction. It means a rediness to "break" and confess at the feet of Him who was broken for us, for the Blood does not cleanse excuses, but always cleanses sin, confessed as sin: then revival is just the daily experience of a soul full of Jesus and running over."
"Further, we are beginning to learn, as a company of Christ's witnesses, that the rivers of life to the world do not flow out in their fulness through one man, but through the body, the team. Our brokenness and openness must be two-way, horizontal as well as vertical, with one another as with God. We are just beginning to experience in our own ranks that team work in the Spirit is one of the keys to revival, and that we have to learn and practise the laws of a living fellowship."
Read the online version here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Read this and Re-Read this....

Read this and re-read this; then mark in your minds the two different sort of men that Luther here describes. He is outlining for you the character of a good man and an evil man. This here is an excellent guide for measuring up a man's worthiness of the honorable estate of marriage.
A second thought would be, recognize that if an endeavor isn't your "cup of tea" that doesn't mean that it isn't your calling in life. God has said what your calling is in His word. Be fruitful and multiply is one of His commands.
If one finds marriage and the raising of children to be drudgery and then justifies his self-centered attitude with the excuse that it must be as my single friends said before I married, "Do what you like and do what you are good at because you have a whole life of doing ahead of you" than he will perpetuate his self-centered attitude by believing such lies.
Call good what God calls good. Let God be true and every man a liar. Romans 3:4
There is application for us daughters. Children obey your parents, Eph 6:1, Col 3:20 Honor thy father and thy mother, Exodus 20:12. These commands are very clearly given. Doing what is right isn't always easy, it isn't always preferable, but that is not because the institution of a God ordained family is wrong; it's because we are unwise and unskilled daughters. If we humble ourselves and embrace the changes that God has put before us to make, we will find ourselves living one day in homes we delight in, with people love to serve, doing as Luther calls them, "truly golden and noble works."

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hat Etiquette ~ a little to the left please...

Today we ran our Friday errands and added an extra stop to the list. We had spied a hat shop along our route the other day and made arrangements to pay them a visit...unfortunately there wasn't a single hat that was in our color range, as lovely as they were. While we were there we did learn that there was a code of ethics to hat wearing. Of course we all understand that hat etiquette involves men tipping their hats to ladies or removing them if they wish to converse with a lady. But I had no idea there were rules that applied to us ladies as well.

Standing before the mirror, spying how I looked in a plum woven hat, I frowned when I realized the crown was tall enough that I could compete with Haas on Bonanza. The salesclerk could barely handle my clumsy hat etiquette and gave us a brief overview of how a lady wears a hat. "Are you married?" she asked.
"No" I replied wondering what that had to do with hats. "Then a little to the left please. Married women wear their hats tilted or drawn down to the right and unmarried ladies tilt to the left." I gazed for another moment considering what would happen if a potential suitor was dislexic and mistook me for a married woman but my procrastination pushed her over her limit. "You ladies please come over here," referring to my mother and Andrea. She positioned them a good 7 feet away from me so they could view a master at work. (Or perhaps so my foolishness wouldn't rub off before she saved me from my hat foibles.) "Now watch how this works." She proceeded to rearrange the hat on my head a little to the front and quite a distance to the left. I looked at myself once more and thought sarcastically, "Now that ought to get me married." It appeared as though I had just been in a fender bender, hit from behind in traffic. I placed it back square and center. "I am affraid that I will have to break the rules on this one, so I can see where I am going" With her hands on her hips she held her peace. I had a mental lapse however and decided to try on another never even suspecting I would be disarranged once more. What was I thinking?

"Oh no, no. Understand that the brim must not extend past the nose!" Off came the hat. She turned it around backwards and replaced it on my head. "There you see ladies?"

Of Providence

O how ravishing and delectable a sight will it be to behold at one view the whole design of Providence, and the proper place and use of every single act, which we could not understand in this world! What Christ said to Peter is as applicable to some providences in which we are now concerned as it was to that particular action: 'What I do, thou knowest not now: but thou shalt know hereafter' (John 13:7). All the dark, intricate, puzzling providences at which we were sometimes so offended, and sometimes amazed, which we could neither reconcile with the promise nor with each other, nay, which we so unjustly censured and bitterly bewailed, as if they had fallen out quite against our happiness, we shall then see to be to us, as the difficult passage through the wilderness was to Israel, 'the right way to a city of habitation' (Ps. 107:7).

And yet, though our present views and reflections upon Providence are so short and imperfect in comparison to that in heaven, yet such as it is under all its present disadvantages, it has so much excellence and sweetness in it that I may call it a little heaven, or as Jacob called his Bethel, 'the gate of heaven.' It is certainly a highway of walking with God in this world, and a soul may enjoy as sweet communion with him in His providences as in any of His ordinances. How often have the hearts of its observers been melted into tears of joy at the beholding of its wise and unexpected productions! How often has it convinced them, upon a sober recollection of the events of their lives, that if the Lord had left them to their own counsels they had often been their own tormentors, if not executioners! Into what and how many fatal mischiefs had they precipitated themselves if Providence had been as short-sighted as they! They have given it their hearty thanks for considering their interest more than their importunity, and not allowing them to perish by their own desires. John Flavel's The Mystery of Providence pages 22-23

Friday, August 17, 2007

Q & A

Q: "What have you learned by being a daughter provided for at home?"

A: "I have learned gratitude."

Q: "So it stands to reason that when your father can't provide it causes ingratitude?"

A: "No, bitterness causes ingratitude not father's submission to God's providence."

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Heart of Oliver Cromwell

Andrea and I were spending a quiet evening together tonight catching up on our sewing and alterations. A couple hours ago she got out a CD to play while we worked. As a normal passing question I asked her what she had chosen knowing that it was from Vision Forum's History of the World Mega Conference A.D. set.

"The one on Oliver Cromwell."

"Who is Oliver Cromwell?" I hate to admit it but have gotten used to having to say such things due to my public school education. Her head spun around. She looked at my with a quizzical expression to see if I was in jest and seeing that I was not, then made a small attempt to explain Cromwell's greatness but Dr. Morecraft had started his lecture, "He'll tell you," she said.

And then we were lost in the passionate and inspiring account of the life of Oliver Cromwell.

My thoughts are these:

It is important for young ladies to be aquainted with the lives of great men such as he was. They need to understand what Godly Christian character looks like in a man that they might encourage their brothers, understand their fathers, be confident in their choices of future husbands and know what aspirations they need to have while raising their future sons.

And so I listened to Dr. Morecraft's lecture again and want to leave you with the dying words of Oliver Cromwell to show you the heart of the man.

“The Covenants, they were two—two, but put into one before the foundation of the world. It is holy and true, it is holy and true it is holy and true! Who made it holy and true? Who kept it holy and true? The Mediator of the Covenant. The Covenant is but one. Faith in the Covenant is my only support, yet if I believe not, He abides faithful.”

“Is there none that will come and praise God.”

“Whatsoever sins thou hast, doest, or shall commit, if you lay hold upon free grace, you are safe, but if you put yourself under a Covenant of works, you bring yourself under the law, and so under the curse—then you are gone.”

“Is there none that says, Who will deliver me from peril?”

“Man can do nothing, but God can do what He will”

“Lord, Thou knowest, if I desire to live, it is to shew forth Thy praise, and declare Thy works. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

“All the promises of God are in Him yea, and in Him, Amen; to the glory of God by us, by us in Jesus Christ.”

“The Lord hath filled me with as much assurance of His pardon, and His love, as my soul can hold.”

“I think I am the poorest wretch that lives; but I love God, or rather, am beloved of God.”

“Here in is love, not that we love God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins.”

Lord, although I am a miserable and wretched creature, I am in covenant with Thee through grace, and I may, I will, come to Thee, for Thy people. Thou hast made me (though very unworthy) a mean instrument to do them some good, and Thee service; and many of them have set too high a value upon me, though other wish and would be glad of my death; but, Lord, however Thou dost dispose of me, continue and go on to do good for them. Give them consistency of judgment, one heart, and mutual love: and go on to deliver them, and with the work of reformation; and make the name of Christ glorious in the world. Teach those who look too much upon Thy instruments, to depend more upon Thyself. Pardon such as desire to trample upon the dust of a poor worm, for they are Thy people too. And pardon the folly of this short prayer. Even for Jesus Christ’s sake. And give us a good night, if it be Thy pleasure Amen.”

The dying words of Oliver Cromwell.

To learn more about inspiring and remarkable life of Oliver Cromwell reference:
Dr. Joseph Morecraft's lecture in Vision Forum's History of the World A.D. 20- cd set.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Born Today

Zachary Michael Martin 5lb 15oz 19in born at 9:31am.
Why is "born today" such a significant title for this post? Because it is today that Zachary was born to his loving parents Patrick and Robyn Martin, parents counted among those that believe that God determines when to give life and it is not for us to sacrifice that life on the altar of convenience. We thank God for parents that have determined to have many children and raise them for God's glory.
Zachary is their first child and as Robyn mentioned to us last night the first of many.
Congratulations Patrick and Robyn.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Currently Reading...

"Learn then this basic truth, that the Creator is absolute Sovereign, executing His own will, performing His own pleasure, and considering nought but His own glory. "The LORD hath made all things FOR HIMSELF" (Prov. 16:4). And had He not a perfect right to? Since God is God, who dare challenge His prerogative? To murmur against Him is rank rebellion. To question His ways is to impugn His wisdom. To criticize Him is sin of the deepest dye. Have we forgotten who He is? Behold, "All nations before Him as are nothing; and they are counted to Him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God?" (Isa. 40:17, 18)."

Read the online version here.

Friday, July 27, 2007

"Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others."

Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


A discussion between Christian and Hope from John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress.


Christian. Well, we will leave at this time our neighbour IGNORANCE by himself, and fall upon another profitable question.

Hope. With all my heart; but you shall still begin.

Christian. Well then, did you not know, about ten years ago, one TEMPORARY in your parts, who was a forward man in religion then?

Hope. Know him? Yes; he dwelt in Graceless, a town about two miles off to Honesty, and he dwelt next door to one TURNBACK

Christian. Right; he dwelt under the same roof with him. Well, that man was much awakened once. I believe that then he had some sight of his sins, and of the wages that was due thereto.

Hope. I am of your mind; for (my house not being above three miles from him) he would oft times come to me, and that with many tears. Truly, I pitied the man, and was not altogether without hope of him; but one may see it is not everyone that cries, "Lord, Lord !"

Christian. He told me once, that he was resolved to go on pilgrimage, as we do now; but all of a sudden he grew acquainted with one SAVE-SELF, and then he became a stranger to me.

Hope. Now, since we are talking about him, let us a little inquire into the reason of the sudden backsliding of him and such others.

Christian. I may be very profitable; but do you begin.

Hope. Well, then, there are in my judgment four reasons for it.

1. Though the consciences of such men are awakened, yet their minds are not changed; therefore, when the power of guilt wears away, that which provoked them to be religious ceaseth. Wherefore, they naturally turn to their own course again; even as we see the dog that is sick of what he hath eaten, so long as his sickness prevails, he vomits and casts up all; not that he doth this of a free mind (if we may say a dog has a mind), but because it troubles his stomach.; but now, when his sickness is over, and so his stomach eased, his desires being not at all alienate from his vomit, he turns him about and licks up all. And so it is true which is written, "The dog is turned to his own vomit again".

"But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire."~ 2 Peter 2:22 ~

This, I say, being hot for heaven, by virtue only of the sense and fear of the torments of hell, as their sense of hell and the fear of damnation chills and cools,--so their desires for heaven and salvation cool also. So then it comes to pass, that when their guilt and fear are gone, their desires for heaven and happiness die and they return to their course again.

2. Another reason is, they have slavish fears that do overmaster them. I speak now of the fears that they have of men: "For the fear of man brings a snare".

"The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe."~ Proverbs 29:25 ~

So then, though they seem to be hot for heaven so long as the flames of hell are about their ears, yet when that terror is a little over, they betake themselves to second thoughts; namely, that 'tis good to be wise, and not to run (for they know not what) the hazard of losing all, or at least of bringing themselves into unavoidable and unnecessary troubles: and so they fall in with the world again.

3. The shame that attends religion lies also as a block in their way. They are proud and haughty, and religion in their eye is low and contemptible; therefore, when they have lost their sense of hell and wrath to come, they return again to their former course.

4. Guilt and to meditate terror are grievous to them; they like not to see their misery before they come into it. Though perhaps the sight of it first, if they loved that sight, might make them fly whither the righteous fly and are safe: but because they do, as I hinted before, even shun the thoughts of guilt and terror; therefore, when once they are rid of their awakenings about the terrors and wrath of God, they harden their hearts gladly, and choose such ways as will harden them more and more.

Christian. You are pretty near the business; for the bottom of all is, for want of a change in their mind and will. And therefore they are but like the felon that stands before the judge: he quakes and trembles, and seems to repent most heartily. But the bottom of all is, the fear of the halter, not of any detestation of the offence; as is evident, because, let but this man have his liberty, and he will be a thief, and so a rogue still; whereas if his mind was changed he would be otherwise.

Hope. Now I have showed you the reasons of their going back, do you show me the manner thereof.

Christian. So I will willingly:

1. They draw off their thoughts all that they may from the remembrance of God, death, and judgment to come.

2. Then they cast off by degrees private duties: as closet prayer, curbing their lusts, watching, sorrow for sin, and the like.

3. Then they shun the company of lively and warm Christians.

4. After that they grow cold to public duty: as hearing, reading, godly conference, and the like.

5. Then they begin to pick holes, as we say, in the coats of some of the godly; and that devilishly, that they may have a seeming colour to throw religion (for the sake of some infirmity they have spied in them) behind their backs.

6. Then they begin to adhere to, and associate themselves with, carnal, loose, and wanton men.

7. Then they give way to carnal and wanton discourses in secret; and glad are they if they can see such things in any that are counted honest, that they may the more boldly do it through their example.

8. After this they begin to play with little sins openly.

9. And then, being hardened, they show themselves as they are. Thus, being launched again into the gulf of misery, unless a miracle of grace prevent it, they everlastingly perish in their own deceivings.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

35 Years

Today marks the 35th wedding anniversary of our parents. We rejoice that the Lord so ordered events to bring them together, foreknowing the work He would perform in our family's hearts many years later. Praise God for parents who stick together through thick and thin in the face of a culture which denigrates marriage and family. May God grant them 35 more years. We consider ourselves truly blessed and the possessors of great treasure being the daughters of our parents.

"Ascribe to God the glory of all those providential works which yield you comfort. You see a wise, directing, governing Providence, which has disposed and ordered all things beyond your own plans and designs: 'The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps'(Jer. 10:23). Not what you planned, but what a higher counsel than yours determined is come to pass. Good Jacob, when God had made him the father of a family, admired God in the mercy,'For with my staff,' said he,'I passed over this Jordan, and now I am become two bands' (Gen. 32:10) And how this mercy humbles and melts him! 'I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth which thou hast showed unto thy servant.' "excerpted from John Flavel's The Mystery of Providence page 84

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Art Gallery

Gifts from little visitors

When a little girl, I always wondered "Why would Mom want to save all that stuff we made." (What can I say, I never have liked clutter.)
But now I understand. The bovine family on the right is a particular favorite of mine.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Mom's quilt

Mom's quilt. We posted some time ago that we were in the process of cutting it out. The quilt has been completely pieced and now we are now in the process of quilting it by hand.

Other quilts:

This is a quilt that I started when Andrea and I were taking care of Mr. Kelly. I am piecing it by hand and am nearly done with that stage of the process. This is the first I have done by hand and I enjoy it because I can take it with me when I travel. I can carry a couple pieces with me in my purse and put them together when I have a idle moment.

Also, in January of last year I showed mom how to make a log cabin quilt the fast way. Here is mine finished. Mom finished her quilt as well and has given it away. She continued on past me with her quilt by embroidering it with a variety of delicate little stitches. Now, prepare to be wowed.

These are quilts that my Aunt Alicia has made and just a few of them at that. Any wonder why she wins a blue ribbon in every contest?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Colonial Etiquette as Transcribed by Young George Washington

Photo used with permission by Victorian Adventures and taken at Colonial Camp held at Southern Oaks in Fayetteville, GA

Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation
(the original spelling errors are left unchanged)

All are good but here are some of my favorites:
1st Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.
3d Shew Nothing to your Freind that may affright him. (snakes, snails & puppy dog tails)
7th Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Drest. (This rules out swimsuits doesn't it)
16th Do not Puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue rub the Hands, or beard, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the Lips too open or too Close. (Tsk! Tsk! I can no longer be a lip biter!)
32d: To one that is your equal, or not much inferior you are to give the cheif Place in your Lodging and he to who 'tis offered ought at the first to refuse it but at the Second to accept though not without acknowledging his own unworthiness.
47th ...and if you Deliver any thing witty and Pleasent abstain from Laughing there at yourself.
52d In your Apparel be Modest and endeavour to accomodate Nature, rather than to procure Admiration keep to the Fashion of your equals Such as are Civil and orderly with respect to Times and Places.
72d Speak not in an unknown Tongue in Company but in your own Language and that as those of Quality do and not as the Vulgar; Sublime matters treat Seriously.
73d Think before you Speak pronounce not imperfectly nor bring out your Words too hastily but orderly & distinctly.
74th When Another Speaks be attentive your Self and disturb not the Audience if any hesitate in his Words help him not nor Prompt him without desired, Interrupt him not, nor Answer him till his Speech be ended.
87th Let thy carriage be such as becomes a Man Grave Settled and attentive to that which is spoken. Contradict not at every turn what others Say.
91st Make no Shew of taking great Delight in your Victuals, Feed not with Greediness; cut your Bread with a Knife, lean not on the Table neither find fault with what you Eat.
92d Take no Salt or cut Bread with your Knife Greasy.
94th If you Soak bread in the Sauce let it be no more than what you put in your Mouth at a time and blow not your broth at Table but Stay till Cools of it Self.
97th Put not another bit into your Mouth til the former be Swallowed let not your Morsels be too big for the Gowls.
98th Drink not nor talk with your mouth full neither Gaze about you while you are a Drinking.
105th Be not Angry at Table whatever happens & if you have reason to be so, Shew it not but on a Chearfull Countenance especially if there be Strangers for Good Humour makes one Dish of Meat a Feast.
110th Labour to keep alive in your Breast that Little Spark of Celestial fire Called Conscience.
To read the entirety of the transcription click here.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

TV Psalm 23

The TV is my shepherd, I shall turn it on,
it maketh me to lie down on the sofa.
It leads me away from the scriptures,
it ravishes my soul!
It leads me through the paths of ignorance and violence
for the sponsors' sake.
Yea, though I walk in the shadow of my responsibilities,
There will be no interruptions
for the TV is with me.
Its cable and remote control,
they comfort me.
It prepares a commercial before me
It plants lies within my mind;
It anoint my head with materialism,
my coveting runneth over.
Surely laziness and ignorance shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell
in the house watching TV forever.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A mans got to do what a mans got to do...

Here is an example of what manhood looks like!

"I had looked around the plane for help, and all the younger guys had averted their eyes. When I asked the guy next to me if he was up to it, all he said was, 'Retired captain. USMC.' I said, 'You'll do,' " Hayden recalled. "So, basically, a couple of grandfathers took care of the situation."

Hayden's wife of 42 years, Katie, who was also on the flight, was less impressed. Even as her husband struggled with the agitated passenger, she barely looked up from "The Richest Man in Babylon," the book she was reading.

"The woman sitting in front of us was very upset and asked me how I could just sit there reading," Katie Hayden said. "Bob's been shot at. He's been stabbed. He's taken knives away. He knows how to handle those situations. I figured he would go up there and step on somebody's neck, and that would be the end of it. I knew how that situation would end. I didn't know how the book would end."

Read the whole story here.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Psalm 71

Thanks to the helpful and very wonderful instructional CD, "O Sing a New Psalm" produced by the Genevan Foundation for cultural renewal, and Sam Coleman who has taken on the daunting task of teaching our church how to sing (and what a treble clef is amongst other things), I was able to create this...Please click here.