Sunday, September 20, 2009


Cindy, at Dominion Family, has been influencing my thinking about poetry and its inclusion in our lives. Here's a great post about poetry.

Why Poetry

Sunday Hymn - How Firm a Foundation

I like the "conversation" in this hymn and how God's words are used to speak to His people. In our church, we only sing verses 1, 3, 5, and 7.

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You, who unto Jesus for refuge have fled?

In every condition, in sickness, in health;
In poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth;
At home and abroad, on the land, on the sea,
As thy days may demand, shall thy strength ever be.

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of woe shall not thee overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

Even down to old age all My people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs they shall still in My bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Poetry - September Days

I just received a new-to-us poem book, Child's Calendar Beautiful, that I will blog about sometime in the future (yes, I really do plan to start blogging more - will it last?).

But we read this one this morning and I liked it so thought I would share. Our September weather has been absolutely beautiful and we are admiring the glories of the garden (ripe tomatoes!), flowers and leaves. And yet, there are bittersweet moments in life that this poem captures well.

September Days

Cicada plays his viol mid the grasses,
The last shrill sound at night, the first at morn;
Late poppies grow along the garden passes,
And light winds gossip in the ripening corn.

The sluggish creek, in meadows lately greening,
Is flushed with gold and purple, either brink;
From dusty hedge the last wild rose is leaving,
A deadly pallor on her lovely pink.

With Tyrian fruit the lowly poke is laden;
Wych-hazel weaves her "thread of golden bloom;"
The wandering woodbine, like a Gypsy maiden,
Warms with its color the deep forest's gloom.

The morning sows with pearls Arachne's weaving;
The orchard peach looks out with cheeks a-blush;
From shady nook the ringdove's note of grieving
Floats far and faint upon the noontide hush.

By country roads the scarlet sumac's burning,
And over zigzag fences spread and shine
The lush dark berries, daily turning
Their loyal heart's blood into purple wine.

Down the lane path, where the cows come in the gloaming,
The thistles stand with faded armour on;
In buckwheat bloom the weary bees are roaming,
To gather sweets till the last day is done.

With all thy gift and grace, O fair September,
Some anniversaries it is thine to bring,
That flood unwilling eyes but to remember,
And choke with sighs the heart that fain would sing.

And yet, when God has filled the earth with beauty,
And given the soul a quickened consciousness,
One may go forth in pleasant ways of duty
And feel the chastening Hand in close caress.

Elliot C. True

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Book update/reviews

Well, my summer reading challenge wasn't that successful but I did read a lot over the summer.

What I read from the list:

Dallimore's two volume biography of George Whitefield - nope - it's still sitting at the church. I need to remember to bring it home and start it.

Does Christianity Squash Women? - didn't get to it but I still would like to.

Moby Dick - what was I thinking?

Women Helping Women - I read most of this and found it interesting. I think it will be a good resource on the shelf.

Women Leading Women - nope

A Place of Quiet Rest - Nancy Leigh DeMoss - I did read this one and really enjoyed it. I have to confess that I mostly read it because I wanted to know what she said before I passed it on to someone else. Part of me was thinking that I didn't need it myself. However, even though I'm used to having my own quiet time, I found it challenging and interesting. I found some good suggestions for changing how I read and journal. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Showing the Spirit - Don Carson - (I'm about halfway through) - still about halfway through.

The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill - (book club summer selection - I've read it once but I'll read it again to refresh my memory) - skimmed it just before the book club meeting. Enjoyable read and lots of interesting history.

Tapestry of War: a private view of Canadians in the Great War - Sandra Gwyn - just got it from the library and my son has been working through it since we're studying modern history this year. I've started it and I'll finish it once he's done.

The Private Capital: ambition and love in the age of Macdonald and Laurier - Sandra Gwyn - on order from the library. I think it was finally shipped so it should be here soon.

Books I read over the summer and early fall that weren't on my list:

Wives & Daughters and
The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Gaskell is my latest discovery in English writers. She was a contemporary of both Bronte & Austen and is a marvelous writer. I don't know how I missed her all these years. Her biography of Bronte is excellent and I find it so interesting that she knew her and both spent time in the Bronte home and had Charlotte visiting in her home.

Wings Like Eagles

The story of the Royal Air Force and the Battle of Britain. Very well done. As I mentioned, we are studying modern history this year. I think Al Mohler referenced this title in one of his summer reading lists so I wanted to preread it to see if it's suitable for my grade 12 student. Unlike some of the others I previewed this summer, it's quite appropriate for students and gives a really good picture of what happened not only in the summer of 1940 but the events leading up to it.

To Serve Them All My Days - Delderfield

I read this years ago but for some reason was reminded of it again. I really enjoyed it the second time around - great writing and a fascinating picture of the life of a schoolmaster.

Jane Austen ruined my life - Beth Patillo

Interesting concept but not a great ending. The feministic viewpoint was quite at odds to Jane Austen, actually. I enjoyed the book but the ending left me flat.

Goodnight, Mr. Tom

The story of an evacuee who comes to live with an older man in the countryside of Britain during WW2. Excellent book - I think I'll read this aloud when we get to WW2.

Miss Pettigrew lives for a day

Fun little British read (hmm... I think I might see a pattern). I'm waiting, not so patiently, for the dvd to come from the library

Hunting Eichmann

Interesting read about the search for a war criminal.

And some other mysteries, etc. that I picked up at library sales or wherever I could find little paperback books!