What I Believe

Conscience is something, in a sense, apart from man. It has been put in him by God; it is a reminder of the voice of God within him, an inward monitor, and a man cannot really manipulate his conscience. He can go against it, but that is not manipulating it. It is possible, as this Apostle says again in writing to Timothy, for the conscience to be seared “with a hot iron”. But nevertheless it is true to say that the conscience is an independent witness.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones (God’s Sovereign Purpose)

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It is difficult to define Hiraeth, but to me it means the consciousness of man being out of his home area and that which is dear to him. That is why it can be felt even among a host of peoples amidst nature's beauty. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

. . like a Christian yearning for Heaven. . .


Veggie Bundles

I made these cute little veggie bundles for Sam's graduation Open House. They were a bit time consuming to assemble, but definitely worth it!  Two little bites of veggie deliciousness each.

To make them, julienne carrots, celery, red cabbage, and red and yellow peppers.  Keep these in cold water and hour or so to crisp them before assembling.  I tried to tie them up with fresh chives but fresh chives from the grocery store in December aren't so very fresh and they kept breaking when I tried to tie them off.  

I had prepped all my veggies and as julienned cabbage would not be a treat to dip, I improvised.  I had to.  I tried a couple of unsuccessful ideas and finally hit on the perfect 'string' to hold them together--the rib strings of celery.  I ended up cutting the chives to length and adding them to the bundle.  The dark green added another color and chivey goodness in every bite.  In the meantime, Tom ran to the store to look for the longest bunch of celery stalks and soon I was in business--stripping the ribs and tying up the bundles.  About half way through, I noticed that the celery strings were drying out so next time I'll put those in cold water after I pull them out.

I'll be making these again.  I'm thinking asparagus would make a great addition.  Really, any colorful veggie would do!


Just that quick

Got up to pour another cup of coffee and when got back, this is what I saw--Ivy noodling around on the internet.


Sunday Hymn: All my Heart this Night Rejoices

All my heart this night rejoices
As I hear
Far and near
Sweetest angel voices.
"Christ is born," their choirs are singing
Till the air
Now with joy is ringing.

Forth today the Conqueror goeth,
Who the foe,
Sin and woe,
Death and hell, o'erthroweth.
God is man, man to deliver;
His dear Son
Now is one
With our blood forever.

Shall we still dread God's displeasure,
Who, to save,
Freely gave
His most cherished treasure?
To redeem us, he hath given
His own Son
From the throne
Of his might in heaven.

He becomes the Lamb that taketh
Sin away
And for aye
Full atonement maketh.
For our life his own he tenders;
And our race,
By his grace,
Meet for glory renders.

Hark! a voice from yonder manger,
Soft and sweet,
Doth entreat:
"Flee from woe and danger,
Brethren, from all ills that grieve you
You are freed;
All you need
I will surely give you."

Come, then, banish all your sadness,
One and all,
Great and small;
Come with songs of gladness.
Love him who with love is glowing;
Hail the star,
Near and far
Light and joy bestowing.

Dearest Lord, thee will I cherish.
Though my breath
Fail in death,
Yet I shall not perish,
But with thee abide for ever
There on high,
In that joy
Which can vanish never.


(Belated) Thankful Thursday

My Thankful Thursday post is late this week because we're having some problems with our electronic devices talking to each other.

What I WANTED to do was simply post a photo of my youngest boy, Sam, who graduated from college last night with an Associates in Art degree.  But the photos are on Jake's iPhone and it doesn't want to send photos via email at present.

I am so thankful for Sam's accomplishments and I am looking forward to my budding film maker's next graduation from Flashpoint Academy in Chicago.


Quote of the Week:  Warfield

There is nothing in us or done by us, at any stage of our earthly development, because of which we are acceptable to God. We must always be accepted for Christ’s sake, or we cannot ever be accepted at all. This is not true of us only when we believe. It is just as true after we have believed. It will continue to be trust as long as we live. Our need of Christ does not cease with our believing; nor does the nature of our relation to Him or to God through Him ever alter, no matter what our attainments in Christian graces or our achievements in behavior may be. It is always on His “blood and righteousness” alone that we can rest.

B.B. Warfield


Sunday Hymn: God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.


O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

In Bethlehem, in Israel, this blessèd Babe was born,
And laid within a manger upon this blessèd morn;
The which His mother Mary did nothing take in scorn.


From God our heavenly Father a blessèd angel came;
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name.


Fear not, then, said the angel, Let nothing you affright
This day is born a Savior of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him from Satan’s power and might.


The shepherds at those tidings rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding in tempest, storm and wind,
And went to Bethl’em straightaway this blessèd Babe to find.


But when to Bethlehem they came where our dear Savior lay,
They found Him in a manger where oxen feed on hay;
His mother Mary kneeling unto the Lord did pray.


Now to the Lord sing praises all you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface.


God bless the ruler of this house, and send him long to reign,
And many a merry Christmas may live to see again;
Among your friends and kindred that live both far and near—

That God send you a happy new year, happy new year,
And God send you a happy new year.


Thankful Thursday

This past week I have been thankful for. . .


. . .God's mercy in keeping us safe with an undetected CO leak in our furnace.

. . . Our new safe, energy efficient furnace.

. . . Relearning the Shorter Catechism.

. . . Being back in church after missing last week due to illness.

. . . the Lord's Supper

. . . Bible Study.

. . . Requests for work in 2012 to start filling up my work calendar.

. . . Mild weather as winter approaches.

. . . Christmas lights in the house on chilly, dark mornings and warm, cozy evenings.

. . . Christmas movies shared together as a family.

. . . The companionship Tom and I enjoy as we run errands together.

. . . No more yard work!

. . . Understanding and forgiveness from a friend.

. . . The mysterious 'self fixing' of my laptop.  So thankful I didn't have to get it serviced.

. . . all the ladies in our Ladies' Bible Study.

. . .a nap on a gloomy afternoon.

And these two!  


None dare call it 'leftover'

So last night I made a roast chicken for dinner with wild rice pilaf as a side dish.  Steamed cauliflower rounded out the plate--it was a good dinner.

I took a short cut to pilaf:  I prepared a box of Uncle Ben's Wild rice according to directions on the box and while it was cooking, I sauteed 1 onion,  1/2 sweet orange pepper, 1 large grated carrot and about 5 or 6 baby bella mushrooms, sliced thin, in olive oil.  Once the rice was done, I folded the sauteed vegetables.  Easy peasy.

This morning I'm making soup.  I think I'll call it Roast Chicken Pilaf soup because that's really all it is--leftover chicken and leftover pilaf brought together with broth.  The broth has been fortified by adding the salty, brown pan drippings from the roast chicken (fat skimmed). How simple is that?  I just got it together and tasted it and WOW!  It's really good and so easy!  Which is why I'm sharing this with you.

Repurposing leftovers can lead to some really great and unexpected meals.  Some are hard to replicate but others become family favorites in their own right.  I think this will fall into that category.


December Status report

It's been a long time since I've done one of Lisa's Status Reports!

Sitting...in my studio. Not working.  Noodling around on the computer.

Stressing...for a while this morning because a group of keys on my laptop (t,g,h,v) wouldn’t work and I couldn’t log into my computer because I needed a ‘t’ in my password.

Double stressing because I typed up the notes I planned on using to navigate through this morning’s Bible study in Acts 3 and hadn’t printed them yet. 

Relieved . . .that closing the lid and re-opening it has seemed to fix the problem.

Decorating...is all done except the poor old Charlie Brown-ish tree on the front porch.  Sam’s job—it may  never get decorated this year, but the lights are still pretty.

Listening...to Ivy digging around with the couch pillows in the living room, making a nest.

Wondering... what I'm wondering about.  Nothing comes to mind.

Thankful...that my computer isn’t disabled.

Reading…believe it or not, I’m not actively reading anything at present.  I am listening to World Without End on my iPod.

Thinking...We better eat that leftover chicken for lunch today.

Closing...soon to be closing the books on business year 2011.  Only one more job on the calendar this year.  It’s been a very good year!

Feeling...tired of just thinking of all the things coming up in the next few weeks at this busy time of year!

Anticipating...Sam’s upcoming college graduation and Open House.

Walking...Ivy would love me to walk her today but I don’t think I’ll get to it until after supper.  Poor girl.

Wishing...I wasn’t so forgetful.



Texted to me from John:

Elliott:  "Daddy, we don't have any animals.  We don't have any pets either!  We just have Madelyn and she's a kid."


Sunday Hymn: Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

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.

Trinity Hymnal #145


Look how they've grown!


Dressed up like Glee for Hallowe'en:

Aren't they adorable?


Coming out of retirement

I think it's time.  Lately, I've been thinking of things I'd blog about if I were still blogging.  

Hello, Hiraeth!  I've missed you!


Quote of the Week:  Edwards

The way to Heaven is ascending; we must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.

The Christian Pilgrim, 1733

Jonathan Edwards


Thankful Thursday

Even though, for all intents and purposes, Hiraeth is retired, I had to post my thankfulness publically today.

Yesterday afternoon, our family said good bye to our dear, sweet Eve.  She has had a series of medical issues over the past few months.  Less than a week ago, I took her to the vet to have stitches removed from her most recent removal of her recurring mouth tumors.  She was limping, so I wanted our vet to see what was wrong with her foot.  Turns out she had a neurological problem that was causing her to walk on her tippy toes--not easy for a geriatric dog.  And then we found the tumor on the side of her belly.  It came from nowhere and our vet said he didn't recommend treating it at this point.  So we brought her home with another pill to treat her neurological problem and began to wait.  We knew what we were waiting for but we didn't think it would come so soon.  The tumor grew rapidly and Tuesday evening we noticed that she had bleeding under the skin.  With the rapidity of the growth, we we made the decision to say good bye before she was in pain.

So yesterday I sat on the floor in the office; kissing her, whispering into her deaf ears, and looking into her blind eyes telling her over and over what every dog wants to hear, "I love you Evie.  You are a good girl."

I think she heard me.

Thank you God, for the companionship and love of our sweet Eve.  We are so grateful for her life.



Quote of the Week:  Hugo

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.

Victor Hugo



Sunday Hymn: Great God, how infinite are Thou!

Great God, how infinite art thou!
How poor and weak are we!
Let the whole race of creatures bow,
And pay their praise to thee.

Thy throne eternal ages stood,
Ere seas or stars were made:
Thou art the ever living God,
Were all the nations dead.

Eternity, with all its years,
Stands present in thy view;
To thee there's nothing old appears;
To thee there's nothing new.

Our lives through various scenes are drawn,
And vexed with trifling cares;
While thine eternal thought moves on
Thine undisturbed affairs.

Great God, how infinite art thou!
How poor and weak are we!
Let the whole race of creatures bow,
And pay their praise to thee.


Quote of the Week:  M'Cheyne

The purest joy in the world is joy in Christ Jesus." - Robert Murray M'Cheyne 


Sunday Hymn: O Jesus, We Adore Thee

Original Trinity Hymnal, #193

O Jesus, we adore thee,
Upon the cross, our King!
We bow our hearts before thee,
Thy gracious name we sing.
That name hath brought salvation,
That name in life our stay,
Our peace, our consolation,
When life shall fade away.

Yet doth the world disdain thee,
Still passing by the cross;
Lord, may our hearts retain thee;
All else we count but loss.
Ah, Lord, our sins arraigned thee,
And nailed thee to the tree:
Our pride, our Lord, disdained thee;
Yet deign our hope to be.

O glorious King, we bless thee,
No longer pass thee by;
O Jesus, we confess thee
The Son enthroned on high.
Lord, grant to us remission;
Life through thy death restore;
Yea, grant us the fruition
Of life for evermore.


Thankful Thursday

Psalm 111:1 Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy;
they are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!