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Off to Play with the Kids

"If mothers could learn to do for themselves what they do for their children, we should have happier households. Let the mother go out to play! If she would only have courage to let everything go when life becomes too tense, and just take a day, or half a day, out in the fields, or with a favorite book, or in a picture gallery looking long and well at just two or three pictures, or in bed, without the children, life would go on far more happily for both children and parents."

--Charlotte Mason

(Via ThatMom)


March 29, 2008  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Around Here. . .

Drinking: Fruit and protein shakes
Recovering: From minor outpatient surgery
Reading: Tim Keller
Studying: MBTI, MMPI, MSI, NEO
Linking: Raced-Focused Schools
Watching: Lost online
Listening: To nothin' -- my MP3 player died


March 28, 2008  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Reading Ebenezer

If you haven't been keeping reading Dr. Camille Lewis's Ebenezer blog series, it's not too late to catch up. The story of God's grace and faithfulness is wrapped in the narrative of her mothering and academic journeys.

The series isn't finished yet--I'll add the rest of the links as they are published. Grab a cup of coffee and take some time to read and reflect.

Update 3/24/08: Added links to the final chapters in this story of remembrance of God's faithfulness. It takes time to read through and absorb, but those who do take that time -- I know that you will be challenged and encouraged.


March 24, 2008  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Христос воскрес! Воистину воскрес!

Hear the bells ringing
They're singing that you can be born again
Hear the bells ringing
They're singing Christ is risen from the dead

The angel up on the tombstone
Said He has risen, just as He said
Quickly now, go tell his disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead

Joy to the word, He has risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah

Hear the bells ringing
They're singing that you can
be healed right now
Hear the bells ringing, they're singing
Christ, He will reveal it now

The angels, they all surround us
And they are ministering Jesus' power
Quickly now, reach out and receive it
For this could be your glorious hour

Joy to the world, He has risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah, hallelujah

The angel up on the tombstone
Said He has risen, just as He said
Quickly now, go tell his disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead

Joy to the world, He has risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah
He's risen, hallelujah


March 23, 2008  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



O Sacred Heart Now Wounded

But Jesus know -- there was no other way. All the poison of sin was going to have to go into his own heart. God was going to pour into Jesus' heart all the sadness and brokenness in people's hearts. He was going to pour into Jesus' body all the sickness in people's bodies. God was going to have to blame his Son for everything that had gone wrong. It would crush Jesus.

But there was something else, something even more horrible. When people ran away from God, they lost God -- it was what happened when they ran away. Not being close to God was like a punishment. Jesus was going to take that punishment.

Jesus know what that meant. He was going to lose his Father -- and that, Jesus knew, would break his heart in two.

. . .

The full force of the storm of God's fierce anger at sin was coming down. On his own Son. Instead of his people. It was the only way God could destroy sin, and not destroy his children whose hearts were filled with sin.

Then Jesus shouted out in a loud voice, "It is finished!"

And it was. He had done it. Jesus had rescued the whole world.

(As told in the Jesus Storybook Bible)


March 22, 2008  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



The Iniquity of Us All

The blood remains as red
That colours our spirits white
The blood remains as warm
That paints black skies with fire
But clouds are round about You...
And shadows veil Your eyes
The Ghost is ever sure
Who holds tight for precious life
The blood remains as rich
That poor sinners drink like wine
The blood remains as warm
That paints black skies with fire

"But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. . .

"[T]here followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!'. . .

"And Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!". . .

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last."



March 21, 2008  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Prayer of St. Patrick

I bind unto myself today the strong name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever,
by power of faith, Christ's incarnation,
his baptism in the Jordan river,
his death on cross for my salvation,
his bursting from the spiced tomb,
his riding up the heavenly way,
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself today the virtues of the starlit heaven,
the glorious sun's lifegiving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken to my need,
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward,
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.
Against the demon snares of sin,
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar my course -
or few or many, far or nigh,
in every place, and in all hours,
against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
against false words of heresy,
against the knowledge that defiles,
against the heart's idolatry,
against the wizard's evil craft,
against the death-wound and the burning,
the choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
protect me, Christ, till thy returning.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the name,
the strong name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three,
of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation:
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Attributed to St Patrick c 389 - 461

Of course, being the good Presbyterians we are, along with singing Be Thou My Vision the boys wore orange.


March 17, 2008  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Branches of Palm Trees and Hosannas

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out,

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,
even the King of Israel!"

And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written,

"Fear not, daughter of Zion;
behold, your king is coming,
sitting on a donkey’s colt!"

His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.

The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, "You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him."

from John 12

Hosanna, hosanna. . .blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

Today we read the passage of the Triumphal Entry from each of the Gospels. Less than a week after this mass recognition that Jesus was sent from God, he was rejected and crucified.

The boys asked, "Why?" Why did the people crucify Him so soon after proclaiming He was sent from God?

As we talked, we recognized that all of us have the tendency to both recognize God and reject God. That sinfulness in our heart will want to reject the Lord, even though we KNOW he is Lord.

And we prayed. And repented.


March 16, 2008  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Whate'er My God Ordains Is Right

Whate’er my God ordains is right,
Holy His will abideth.
I will be still whate’er He does,
And follow where He guideth.
He is my God,
Though dark my road.
He holds me that I shall not fall
Wherefore to Him I leave it all

Whate’er my God ordains is right,
He never will deceive me
He leads me by the proper path,
I know He will not leave me
I take, content,
What He hath sent
His hand can turn my griefs away
And patiently I wait His day

Whate’er my God ordains is right,
Though now this cup in drinking
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it all unshrinking
My God is true,
Each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart
And pain and sorrow shall depart

Whate’er my God ordains is right,
Here shall my stand be taken
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken
My Father’s care
Is round me there
He holds me that I shall not fall
And so to Him I leave it all

This is the prayer of my soul, along with Anne, Kristen and Camille.


March 14, 2008  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Amazon Surprise!

So, the other day Hubby told me my Amazon order came in. I was surprised, since I had just placed an order the night before. But the books in the box weren't the ones I ordered, though they had been on my Amazon list.

I didn't see anything on the packing slip to clue me in. . . Did someone send me a surprise from Amazon?


March 05, 2008  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Monday's Pot o' Beans

On a completely different note, do you have recommendations on how to cook dried beans so that they taste good? :) --Carole

Carole, who obviously knows her way around a kitchen already, asked about the wonderful, marvelous, nutrient-rich (and cheap! unless you live in Ukraine) legume.

It's Monday, and we have a New Orleans carry-over tradition of Red Beans and Rice on Mondays. Only, now it's morphed into any kind of bean on Mondays. (Once upon a time, I also did laundry on Mondays, as tradition dictates. . . now I'm just thankful whenever it gets done. . .)

Red Beans and Rice is still my favorite. It's comfort food and totally divine when served with hot buttered French bread. Hubby prefers Cuban Black Bean soup with a dollop of sour cream.

While those are our most common bean-based meals, it's good to have a range of recipes to try. Most of these recipes can be modified easily for the vegan and vegetarian amongst us. However, I've found that cooking beans with just a little bit of meat makes it yummier.

I usually make a full pot of beans or a double batch, and freeze the leftovers in smallish ziplock bags. Lots of recipes call for canned black beans--having your own in your freezer is quick and inexpensive, and doesn't have the metallic taste some canned beans have. (I do the same with brown rice--DIY convenience foods.)

The Bean Report is a good resource for info on cooking beans and minimizing their oftimes unpleasant side effects. One other thing I find important is not to salt the beans until after they are cooked.

Sooooo. . .

What other bean recipes should Carole and I try?


March 03, 2008  |  Comments (11)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Nourishment to my Soul

This week I've been listening to Tim Keller's sermon series The Trouble with Christianity: Why it's so Hard to Believe it. These sermons have been so nourishing to my soul, especially the ones on doubt and suffering. This preaching is so basic and Christ-focused, but not at all simplistic. Listening drives my heart to worship our God.

Exclusivity: How can there be just one true religion?
1 John 4:1-10

Suffering: If God is good, why is there so much evil in the world?
1 Peter 1:3-12

Absolutism: Don't we all have to find truth for ourselves?
Galatians 2:4-16

Injustice: Hasn't Christianity been an instrument for oppression?
James 2:1-17

Hell: Isn't the God of Christianity an angry Judge?
Luke 16:19-31

Doubt: What should I do with my doubts?
John 20:1-18

Literalism: Isn't the Bible historically unreliable and regressive?
Luke 1:1-4; 24:13-32


March 02, 2008  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



Nor Shall She Die

"Let's die, my brothers, or on high
Maintain the flag of liberty
To perish—there's no other way—
Shall it be chains or in the fray ?

He who doth hate a captive's chains,
The test of battle ne'er disdains! . . .

No more with evil temporize!
Fall, rather than your powers waste!
Stand proudly, do not bend the knee,
Better to die than traitor be!
The morrow will bring victory.

Then not in vain shall we see rise
From slumber Ukraine's virile race;
And not in vain in their young eyes
Those old-time fires we shall trace.

Perhaps in their good, strong right hands
Will gleam and flash new shining brands.
Long have we been by woes bestead,
A grievous lot our souls doth try,
But let us shout:
‘Ukraine's not dead,
She's not yet dead, nor shall she die!’"

--Ivan Franko


March 01, 2008  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink



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