Friday, July 27, 2007


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

Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Backsliding

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

Backsliding

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.
A~

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?