4.27.2011

Quotables: C.S. Lewis

"If I have read the New Testament aright, it leaves no room for "creativeness," even in a modified or metaphorical sense. Our whole destiny seems to lie in the opposite direction, in being as little as possible ourselves, in acquiring a fragrance that is not our own, but borrowed, in becoming clean mirrors filled with the image of a face that is not ours."

-C.S. Lewis
"Christianity and Literature"

4.25.2011

The List that Never Ends: #231-240

Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, - a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.

~George Herbert

Thanking God today...

231. ...for the gift of a "new-to-me" laptop (thank you too, Mom!).

232. ...for birds singing.

233. ...for a fun and relaxing weekend at the lake with some of my favorite people and my favorite dog.

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234. ...for lotion-infused tissues and Vicks Vap-O-Rub.

235. ...for herbs and spices that make food so much more interesting.

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236. ...for some beautiful flowers and a sweet note with encouragement and affirmation from a friend, waiting to surprise me when I got home.

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237. ...for Communion - a time to remember the Body that was broken and the Blood that was shed for me.

238. ...for the Cross.

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239. ...for the Empty Tomb.

240. ... for a living, risen Savior and the hope of eternal life with Him.

Are you giving thanks today? Join us over at...


I hope you had a happy Easter...

4.24.2011

He Is Risen Indeed...

Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

- I Corinthians 15:12-58

Hallelujah - He is risen!
Happy Resurrection Day


4.22.2011

Love's as Warm as Tears

Love's as warm as tears,
Love is tears:
Pressure within the brain,
Tension at the throat,
Deluge, weeks of rain,
Haystacks afloat,
Featureless seas between
Hedges, where once was green.

Love's as fierce as fire,
Love is fire:
All sorts--infernal heat
Clinkered with greed and pride,
Lyric desire, sharp-sweet,
Laughing, even when denied,
And that empyreal flame
Whence all loves came.

Love's as fresh as spring,
Love is spring:
Bird-song hung in the air,
Cool smells in a wood,
Whispering 'Dare! Dare!'
To sap, to blood,
Telling 'Ease, safety, rest,
Are good; not best.'

Love's as hard as nails,
Love is nails:
Blunt, thick, hammered through
The medial nerves of One
Who, having made us, knew
The thing He had done,
seeing (with all that is)
Our cross, and His.

~C.S. Lewis, Poems, (1964)

4.21.2011

In which I make a terrarium and some sweet bunny cuteness...

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Terrariums - they had me at "hello."

I've always loved these miniature worlds-in-a-jar, and I finally got around to making one myself! I thought I'd share the instructions with you in case you would like to make one too...

You will need:
  • PhotobucketA large glass container - I used an apothecary jar that I found for a very reasonable price at Ross. If you would like to use humidity-loving plants, choose a container with a lid; if you would like to use dry-loving plants, choose one without a lid. It should be deep enough to include the layers of soil plus the height of the plants. You'll also want something with a wide mouth so that your hands and plants will fit inside easily. You can get creative here - apothecary jars work well, but you could also use a large mason jar, glass canisters, a lantern, or even an old gumball machine!
  • Small pebbles, marbles, or those glass droplet things - these arent' really going to be seen, so don't spend a lot of money here. I used some small rocks I found in our driveway. If you use rocks you found outside, be sure to wash them in order to kill any mold or fungus growing on them. I soaked mine in bleach water, then rinsed them thoroughly. I chose fairly smooth rocks in order to keep them from scratching the glass. You'll need about an inch of pebbles as your first layer.
  • Plain charcoal - you can find this at a garden store. I found some in the aquarium section at Wal-Mart. You'll add a layer of this on top of the rocks. The charcoal acts as a filter so that the water in your terrarium doesn't become stagnant.
  • Potting soil - this goes on top of the charcoal. You'll need enough to cover the bases of your plants - probably 2-3 inches.
  • PhotobucketTerrarium-friendly plants - This is up to you, but you'll need to choose things that don't mind humidity if your container has a lid. If you are using an open container, succulents work well. Since mine has a lid, I chose a tiny little fern, a polka-dot plant, and some moss. If you're not sure what to use, ask someone at a garden center to recommend some terrarium-friendly plant varieties to you. Once you have finished planting everything, you can use a straw filled with water  to rinse any stray potting soil off the sides of the glass. (Stick the straw into a tall glass of water, seal the end with your finger, aim, then release onto sides of jar.)
  • PhotobucketEmbellishments - this is the fun part... You are creating a miniature world, so this is your chance to get really creative! Add a doll-house-sized park bench, a pebble pathway, and lamp post to create a miniature garden; a tiny bird house; a terracotta snail; some plastic dinosaurs - whatever! You could even create an "empty tomb" with some small rocks and use it as an Easter centerpiece. Just make sure that whatever you use can handle the moisture - stay away from metal items that might rust or porous items that might mildew. Check at hobby shops for miniatures intended for doll houses or model trains, or borrow some of your kids' small toys. You can also make your own - I used some Sculpey clay and created my own little bunny...
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Sculpey is great stuff - it stays soft until you bake it, and it comes in a variety of colors. I used plain white, and then I used some watered-down brown acrylic paint to "antique" it after baking. I then sealed it with a clear, matte varnish to inhibit mold.

  • Once you get it all arranged to your liking, add a shot-glass of water and your lid if you're using one, then place in an area that receives indirect sunlight. You'll want to avoid direct sunlight, since the glass will cause the plants to overheat. I've read that you should water it about once a month, but I would just keep an eye on it and use your best judgment. You don't want your plants to get soggy, but they shouldn't get too dry either. Ask at the garden center for recommendations for your specific plant varieties.
PhotobucketWell, I hope you've enjoyed this little tutorial! Sorry I didn't do step-by-step photos - I got so involved in making it that I forgot to pick up my camera... But it's very simple to make, and lots of fun! This would be a great project to do with your kids. And as you can see, it makes a lovely centerpiece for spring... (or anytime, really).


If you decide to try to make your own terrarium, please take some photos and send me the link! I'd love to see them!



Have a lovely weekend.... thanks for reading.




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The Lettered Cottage

4.20.2011

Quotables: Unknown Soldier

If it be all for naught, for nothingness
At last, why does God make the world so fair?
Why spill this golden splendor out across
The western hills, and light the silver lamp
Of eve? Why give me eyes to see, and soul
To love so strong and deep? Then, with a pang
This brightness stabs me through and wakes within
Rebellious voice to cry against all death.
Why set this hunger for eternity
To gnaw my heartstrings through, if death ends all?
If death ends all, then evil must be good,
Wrong must be right, and beauty ugliness.
God is a Judas who betrays His Son,
And with a kiss, damns all the world to hell,
If Christ rose not again.

- Unknown Soldier killed in WWI

The good news is: He DID.

I hope you are having a blessed week, contemplating the Cross and the Resurrection...


4.18.2011

The List that Never Ends: #221-230

Today I am continuing in the discipline of giving thanks. To learn why, click HERE.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
- James 1:17-18
I am thanking God today...

221. ... for the color yellow.


222. ... for spring flowers.


223. ... that Josh has Fridays off this quarter, which means I get an extra long weekend with him. :o)

224. ... for homemade apple butter on homemade cornbread.

225. ... for some hopeful news.

226. ... for one round of chemo treatments down for my Mamaw.

227. ... for quiet times allowing for reflection and a renewed perspective.


228. ... for glimpses of beauty, even in the midst of a fallen world.

229. ... for laughter.

230. ... that God never gives me more than I can handle (or maybe just gives me what I need to handle what He gives me).

Are you giving thanks today? Link up with me over at...


4.17.2011

Behold, thy King cometh...

On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him. The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record. For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him. And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die. The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them. But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

-John 12:12-50


Happy Palm Sunday...

Hosanna!

4.13.2011

Quotables: J. Hudson Taylor

"God is sufficient for God's work... God chose me because I was weak enough. God does not do His great works by large committees. He trains somebody to be quiet enough, and little enough, and then He uses him."

- J. Hudson Taylor

4.12.2011

Booking It: April

Once again I'm weighing in over at Life As Mom for the Booking It in 2011 challenge (Thanks for hosting, Jessica!). I should have posted this yesterday, but for some reason I had it in my head that the assigned track folks posted on the 11th and the independent track folks posted on the 12th, but it's actually the 10th and 11th, respectively, so next month I will hopefully get my act together. Nevertheless, here I am, a day late... This month I read two books, and below is a little review of each.

According to my 2011 reading plan, my book for April was:

Saving Leonardo:
A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning
by Nancy Pearcey

In this book, Pearcey traces the evolution of modern secularism throughout history. A former agnostic, Pearcey recounts her own struggle to find truth and a worldview that made sense. She studied under Francis Schaeffer at L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland, and has since developed an impressive list of credentials and written and contributed to several books and major Christian publications. If you've ever read Schaeffer's How Should We Then Live?, then you will probably enjoy this book - they're very similar, although this book is more updated and thus more relevant to our current culture.

Part I of the book describes the threat of global secularism. Pearcey describes the pervasive growth of this ideology, how it has crept into our society and even into the Church, and why it's important for us to recognize it and respond accordingly.

Part I also focuses on the underlying concept of modern secularism: "the polarization of facts from values." Pearcey demonstrates how subscribing to this concept not only assaults the very idea of Truth, but also leads to political tyranny and the decay of ethics, morality, and the value of human life.

Part II of the book traces the development of modern secularism via two different paths in history: the Enlightenment and the Romantic movement. The Enlightenment centered on the fact realm of the dualistic worldview, the Romantic movement centered on the values realm. Both paths ultimately lead to secularism. Pearcey demonstrates how the artists, writers, musicians, poets, and philosophers of each period depicted visual and cultural representations of the worldviews they were embracing as individuals and as a society at large. She also demonstrates how these philosophies have trickled down into modern pop culture, and how the ideas behind the false worldviews are portrayed in our modern movies, music, and other art forms. The book ends with tools that parents can use to teach their children how to recognize and reject false worldviews being taught in the culture around them and how to become a positive influence within that culture in order to lead people to the truth of the Biblical worldview and the power of the Gospel.

I HIGHLY recommend this book, both for you and for your older children. It's not exactly light reading - Pearcey is an intellectual with advanced degrees in philosophy and theology, so you may need to brush up on all your "-isms" in order to get the most out of this book. However, I do believe that her argument is extremely important for Christians to understand and follow in order to recognize and reject false worldviews and their ultimate conclusions in our modern world. We could all stand to work our brains out a bit more. If you have children and want to raise them to have a biblical worldview and be able to explain and defend their faith against false ideologies, this book should definitely be on their reading list. It's excellent.

One final thought: if you have ever looked at a piece of art; read a book, play, or poem; listened to a musical composition; or watched a film that left you thinking, "Huh??? What on EARTH???", then this book is for you. No artist or writer creates in a vacuum - all creative people either consciously or unconsciously express their view of the world and of Truth (or the lack thereof) in the pieces they create. Pearcey gives great insight on how you can learn to decipher the worldview behind the work. If you have any interest in apologetics, history, the arts, or culture in general, you will undoubtedly find this book completely fascinating - I certainly did.

Final Verdict: READ IT, READ IT AGAIN, AND THEN MAKE YOUR KIDS READ IT!

And then, book #2 - the wild card:


Crafty Superstar
by Grace Dobush


I didn't originally plan to read this when I created my book list for the year, but it was a gift in an artist-goody-bag from my husband's aunt, another artist who sells her work on the side, so I added it into my list.

At 159 small pages with lots of pictures and insets, it was a quick read. It's basically a guideline book for crafters/artists who are setting out to create businesses out of their hobbies.

It covers topics such as:

- Why make handmade?
- Expectations about running a business and what you want to get out of it
- How to set up your business legally
- Where and how to sell your stuff
- Presentation and customer service
- How to get involved in craft shows
- How to be your own PR person and get noticed
- Balancing your business and your personal life

It also includes some helpful resources such as forms and templates, lists of craft communities and blogs, craft-friendly publications, small business resources, suppliers, and major North American craft shows, as well as advice from seasoned crafters and artists who share tips (and mistakes) they've learned in their own experiences. Overall, it's a helpful book and would benefit anyone just starting out in their own art/craft business.

The only con I would mention would be that this book is clearly geared towards an "indie-punk-rock" sort of crowd, so it's written with a little bit of an attitude, lots of references to pop-culture and environmentalism, a few snarky references to "church basement craft sales," and occasionally some completely unnecessary (and unprofessional) bad language (though not on the Ken Follett scale).

Overall, it's your basic how-to-start-an-art/craft-business manual, and you might find it helpful if you're just starting out.

And speaking of Ken Follett, last month I left you hanging on whether or not I was going to finish The Pillars of the Earth or not. After reading a few more pages after writing my semi-review, I put it down without finishing. I was hoping the garbage was confined to the first few chapters, but as I continued, I saw that it was going to be woven throughout the entire novel. Although the story was interesting, it just wasn't worth wading through all the junk. So, final verdict: skip it. I did.
So, what are you reading lately? If you'd like to join in with your own reviews, you can still link up on the 10th and 11th of each month with the group or individual reading plans over at Life As Mom. Happy reading!

4.11.2011

The List that Never Ends: #211-220

Before simply breezing into my items for the week, I thought I'd take a minute to explain why I started keeping track of these blessings in the first place, and why I plan to continue this "list that never ends..."

Today I'm continuing in the discipline of giving thanks. I call it a discipline because sometimes it is a discipline. It's easy to feel thankful when everything is going well in life, when your circumstances are great, when everyone you love is well and happy, when sin and its ugly consequences are staying at bay. Unfortunately, those times are, for the most part, brief and rare.

The old adage that "most men lead lives of quiet desperation" is true. The people who seem to "have it all together" are probably struggling with something underneath the perfect fa├žade. There are no perfect people or perfect lives. At some point or other, we will all have to face challenges and hardships such as sickness, the death of a loved one, broken relationships, job loss, financial struggles, persecution, and the consequences of being sinful people living in a fallen world with other sinful people. Dealing with any of these things feels overwhelming at times, and it can be tempting to fall into bitterness, anger, self-pity, or depression.

Romans 1:20-32 reads:
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
This passage describes the descent of a sinful human into all kinds of depravity and ultimately, destruction. It's interesting that one of the first steps in that descent is the failure to give thanks.

II Timothy 3:1-5 reads:
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
The passage above describes the current state of mankind pretty well. We have even dubbed our current generation of twenty-somethings the "Entitlement Generation." Throughout our culture is a pervasive attitude that we deserve good things, we don't deserve bad things, and that someone owes us something. The attitude of thankfulness is falling by the wayside. Even our national holiday centered on thankfulness has been nearly lost in the frenzy between Halloween (CANDY CANDY CANDY!) and Christmas (PRESENTS PRESENTS PRESENTS!). Thanksgiving Day itself has simply become the day to get geared up for the "biggest shopping coveting day of the year." But don't get me started on that....

For Christians, being thankful isn't just a suggestion limited to the good times. Being thankful is a commandment - at all times and in all circumstances.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. - I Thessalonians 5:18
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. - Psalm 100
It seems silly to even have to say this, but just for clarification, I'm not talking about simply sending out thankful vibes into the Universe somewhere. The Bible makes it clear that every blessing we receive is a gift from God:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. - James 1:17-18
When we, as Christians, see something (anything) that is good in our lives, we are to give thanks for it and acknowledge that "this good thing here - this is also from the Lord."

If you are unhappy or discontent in your life right now, there is a good chance that you are also ungrateful. I challenge you to start your own list - it can be on a blog or simply in a notebook. When you start looking for the good gifts in your life, you will be amazed at how many there truly are. Learning to be a thankful person has changed my life (because trust me, I'm as prone to covetousness, discontentment, and depression as anyone else), and it can change yours too. If you are struggling with unhappiness or depression, this is the cure.

And so, without further ado, I'll continue my list....

Today, I am thanking God...

211. ... for Josh's school break and the chance to get away and see new things...


212. ... for getting to watch my nieces and nephews play and do the things they do...



213. ... that my nephew was okay yesterday after choking on a piece of wood he found in the creek.

214. ... for all those first aid classes I sat through in summer camp staff training in high school.

215. ... for the variety and wonder of creation. God is amazing.


216. ... for the people that help keep us safe on a daily basis.



217. ... for the perfectly intricate bird's nest I found randomly lying on the grass in a Cracker Barrel parking lot.

218. ... for warm, sunny days.

219. ... for listening to my niece re-tell me the Easter Story in detail after telling it to her using this tool:

Resurrection Eggs

220. ... for that empty egg that represents that empty tomb...


If you'd like to be part of a community of gratitude, please visit:

4.06.2011

Quotables: My Nephew Kaedon

On knighting his Poppy (Grandpa):

"Follow God, work hard when you have to, and take your hat off at the dinner table. Now you're a knight."

-Kaedon, at age 5

4.03.2011

...for such a time as this...



Then Mordecai commanded to answer Esther, Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king's house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
- Esther 4: 13-14


May we be doing what God has called us to be doing...
today...where we are...with what we've been given.

Have a lovely Sunday...

4.01.2011

Taking Off...

...from home and the blog for a few days to visit some family
and spend time with Josh while he's on his break....


Have a lovely weekend....