Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Sunday of Advent

Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Thanksgiving Poem

This was posted to an elist I'm on and I really like it so I thought I would post it here.


I thank Thee, O my God, that through Thy grace
I know Thee, who Thou art;
That I have seen the beauty of Thy face
And felt Thee in my heart.

I thank Thee, O my Savior, who hast deigned
To stoop to even me;
Within my inmost soul hast ruled and reigned,
And will my ransom be.

I thank Thee, Holy Spirit, that Thy wings
Brood o'er my wandering mind;
Bringing to my remembrance sacred things
To which my eyes were blind.

I thank Thee, Triune God! But oh, how cold
The warmest words I speak;
For love and goodness strange and manifold,
All human words are weak.

O teach me, then, to praise Thee with my life,
With stern obedience;
To make the atmosphere about me rife
With silent eloquence!

Elizabeth Payson Prentiss

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful today for all the good books and resources that are available now. Here's some that have been particularly helpful lately:

Suffering and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper - this is a collection of messages from the 2005 Desiring God Conference.
Spurgeon's Morning and Evening
Streams in the Desert
Homeward Bound - a friend lent me this book. I've found it very interesting and very helpful too. Here's the blurb from the back:
“Few things more attractively display and persuasively commend the glory of God in the life of a Christian than a Christ-centered marriage and a Christ-centered family… one that would cause the watching world to sit up and take notice.” So writes Ed Hartman as he contemplates the news that his young wife is probably suffering from a brain tumor.

It was a wake-up call to raise his family with a more eternal perspective.

When my friend lent it to me, she didn't realize the background to the book. But God in His providence knew that this was a book for me to read right now, especially the beginning chapters about God's providence.

Come Weary Saints
The Valley of Vision - both CDs from Sovereign Grace Music
Psalm 42 Message by CJ Mahaney - Speaking to yourself
I haven't listened to this for a while but I have often thought of the main idea from the message. Instead of letting our minds get on the "hamster wheel" of the same thoughts we always have and listening to ourselves, speak God's word to yourself and see what a difference it makes in your life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankful Tuesday

I'm reminded again that Rebecca is encouraging us all to be thankful this month. Although I often think of it, I rarely post what I'm thankful for.

Today, I'm thankful for family. I'm thankful that we can be open with each other and how that leads to a deeper, more open relationship. I'm thankful that even through sorrow and grief, we can see God's gracious hand in bringing us closer together.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The First Snowfall

THE SNOW had begun in the gloaming,
And busily all the night
Had been heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white.

Every pine and fir and hemlock
Wore ermine too dear for an earl,
And the poorest twig on the elm-tree
Was ridged inch deep with pearl.

From sheds new-roofed with Carrara
Came Chanticleer’s muffled crow,
The stiff rails softened to swan’s-down,
And still fluttered down the snow.

I stood and watched by the window
The noiseless work of the sky,
And the sudden flurries of snow-birds,
Like brown leaves whirling by.

I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn
Where a little headstone stood;
How the flakes were folding it gently,
As did robins the babes in the wood.

Up spoke our own little Mabel,
Saying, “Father, who makes it snow?”
And I told of the good All-father
Who cares for us here below.

Again I looked at the snow-fall,
And thought of the leaden sky
That arched o’er our first great sorrow,
When that mound was heaped so high.

I remembered the gradual patience
That fell from that cloud like snow,
Flake by flake, healing and hiding
The scar that renewed our woe.

And again to the child I whispered,
“The snow that husheth all,
Darling, the merciful Father
Alone can make it fall!”

Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her;
And she, kissing back, could not know
That my kiss was given to her sister,
Folded close under deepening snow.

~James Russell Lowell

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I'm Thankful for...

our library system. I was on the website looking up some books and thought I would check our library system. They have almost all of the books so I was able to order them. This way I can check out and see what they are like and if we really like them, then I buy them. Having a great library system is such a blessing.

I was looking for books on grief, especially as it relates to children. I'll take suggestions too. I would love to find some that are Christian in nature, especially more from a reformed perspective. I would also love to find something for our younger ones to read on their own or with us. Suggestions?

Sunday, November 02, 2008


I was just reflecting on the many blessings our family has experienced in the past month and then saw Rebecca's theme for November - Thankfulness. Here are some of the ways we have been blessed (in no particular order):

- friends who provided meals for us. I didn't cook supper for a full month and many of our lunches were from the freezer as well. I was ready to get back to cooking (still need to do a menu for November) but it was a blessing to have it for that long
- cards and letters still coming
- friends who call or write and ask how we are doing
- friends and strangers who put together 4 boxes of homemade cards for me to use - in every theme you can think of
- friends who put together a gift basket filled with coffee, chocolate & scrapbooking supplies
- friends who let us come over and just be ourselves
- a church family that has supported us in so many ways, we just can't count them all up
- a town that still thinks of itself as a community and hurts with us
- packages that come in the mail with books and cds to encourage us
- God who has brought us through this past month and continues every day to remind us of His love and care