Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolved By The Grace Of God, pt.7

Closing out Jonathan Edwards' resolutions:

Resolutions Sixty-One-Seventy
by Jonathan Edwards

61. Resolved, that I will not give way to that listlessness which I find unbends and relaxes my mind from being fully and fixedly set on religion, whatever excuse I may have for it-that what my listlessness inclines me to do, is best to be done, etc.
62. Resolved, never to do anything but duty, and then according to Ephesians 6:6-8, to do it willingly and cheerfully as unto the Lord, and not to man: 'knowing that whatever good thing any man doth, the same shall he receive of the Lord.'
63. On the supposition, that there never was to be but one individual in the world, at any one time, who was properly a complete Christian, in all respects of a right stamp, having Christianity always shining in its true luster, and appearing excellent and lovely, from whatever part and under whatever character viewed: Resolved, to act just as I would do, if I strove with all my might to be that one, who should live in my time.
64. Resolved, when I find those 'groanings which cannot be uttered,' of which the Apostle speaks, and those 'breakings of soul for the longing it hath,' of which the Psalmist speaks, that I will promote them to the utmost of my power, and that I will not be weary of earnestly endeavoring to vent my desires, not of the repetitions of such earnestness.
65. Resolved, very much to exercise myself in this, all my life long, viz. with the greatest openness, of which I am capable of, to declare my ways to God, and lay open my soul to Him: all my sins, temptations, difficulties, sorrows, fears, hopes, desires, and every thing, and every circumstance.
66. Resolved, that I will endeavor always to keep a benign aspect, and air of acting and speaking in all places, and in all companies, except it should so happen that duty requires otherwise.
67. Resolved, after afflictions, to inquire, what I am the better for them, and what I might have got by them.
68. Resolved, to confess frankly all that which I find in myself, either infirmity or sin; and, if it be what concerns religion, also to confess the whole case to God, and implore needed help.
69. Resolved, always to do that, which I shall wish I had done when I see others do it.
70. Let there be something of benevolence, in all that I speak.

Lord willing, tomorrow: my resolution "of first importance."

Have a great day!

Soli Deo Gloria~

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Resolved By The Grace Of God, pt.6

This section concludes the article on resolutions in Tabletalk.

Resolved By The Grace Of God (concluded)
by Burk Parsons

Resolving For Christ's Sake
"So far as they are agreeable to His will for Christ's sake." We cannot resolve to do anything with a presumptuous attitude before God. The whole matter of mkaing resolutions is not just goal setting so that we might have happier lives. We are called by God to love according to His will, not our own–for Christ's sake, not our own–for it is not unto us but unto Him that all glory belongs.

"Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake." Psalm 115:1

Resolutions Fifty-One-Sixty
by Jonathan Edwards

51. Resolved, that I will act so, in every respect, as I think I shall wish I had done, if I should at last be damned.
52. I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as I can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age.
53. Resolved, to improve every opportunity, when I am in the best and happiest frame of mind, to cast and venture my soul on the Lord Jesus Christ, to trust and confide in Him, and consecrate myself wholly to Him; that from this I may have assurance of my safety, knowing that I confide in my Redeemer.
54. Whenever I hear anything spoken in conversation of any person, if I think it would be praiseworthy in me, Resolved to endeavor to imitate it.
55. Resolved, to endeavor to my utmost to act as I can think I should do, if, I had already seen the happiness of heaven, and hell torments.
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken, my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
57. Resolved, when I fear misfortunes and adversities, to examine whether I have done my duty, and resolve to do it, and let the event be just as providence orders it. I will as far as I can, be concerned about nothing but my duty, and my sin.
58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity.
59. Resolved, when I am most conscious of provocations to ill nature and anger, that I will strive most to feel and act good-naturedly; yea, at such times, to manifest good nature, though I think that in other respects it would be disadvantageous, and so as would be imprudent at other times.
60. Resolved, whenever my feelings begin to appear in the least out of order, when I am conscious of the least uneasiness within, or the least irregularity without, I will then subject myself to the strictest examination.

Have a great day!

Miss Blair for the Novelteatalkers

Monday, December 29, 2008

Resolved By The Grace Of God, pt.5

Good Morning! I hope you have all enjoyed your Lord's Day yesterday. Here are some more thoughts on resolutions to start the week, and end the year. And don't forget the new Notable Quotable on the side bar. It changes every Monday.

Resolutions By The Grace Of God (continued)
by Burk Parsons

Resolving Humbly
"I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these resolutions." In making resolutions for the glory of God and before the face of God, we must not come into His presence pounding our chests in triumphal arrogance as if God must now love and bless us more because we have made certain resolutions to follow Him more. In reality, the Lord in His providence may choose to allow even more trials to enter our lives; in His unchanging fatherly love for us, He may decide to discipline us even more in order that we might more so detest our sin and delight in Him. We should approach Him in humble reliance on His grace as we seek not merely the blessings but the one who blesses.

Resolutions Forty-One-Fifty
by Jonathan Edwards

41. Resolved, to ask myself, at the end of every day, week, month and year, wherein I could possibly, in any respect, have done better.
42. Resolved, frequently to renew the dedication of myself to God, which was made at my baptism.
43. Resolved, never, henceforward, till I die, to act as if I were any way my own, but entirely and altogether God's.
44. Resolved, that no other end bu religion, shall have any influence at all on any of my actions; and that no action shall be in the least circumstance any otherwise than the religious end will carry it.
45. Resolved, never to allow any pleasure or grief, joy or sorrow, nor any affection at all, nor any degree of affection, no any circumstance relating to it, but what helps in religion.
46. Resolved, never to allow the least measure of any fretting uneasiness at my father or mother. Resolved to suffer no effects of it, so much as in the least alteration of speech, or motion of my eye: and to be especially careful of it with respect to any of our family.
47. Resolved, to endeavor, to my utmost, to deny whatever is not most agreeable to a good, and universally sweet and benevolent, quiet, peaceable, contented and easy, compassionate and generous, humble and meek, submissive and obliging, diligent and industrious, charitable and even, patient, moderate, forgiving and sincere temper; and to do at all times, what such a temper would lead me to; and to examine strictly, at the end of every week, whether I have done so.
48. Resolved, constantly, with the utmost niceness and diligence, and the strictest scrutiny, to be looking into the state of my soul, that i may know whether I have truly an interest in Christ or not; that when I come to die, I may not have any negligence respecting this to repent of.
49. Resolved, that this never shall be, if I can help it.
50. Resolved, I will act so as I think I shall judge would have been best, and most prudent, when I come into the future world.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Resolved By The Grace Of God, pt.4

More on resolutions...

Resolutions By The Grace Of God (continued)
by Burk Parsons

Resolving Dependently
"I am unable to do anything without God's help," Edwards admits. We must be sensible in grasping the simple truth that every resolution must be made in dependence on God. And while every Christian would respond by saying, "Well, of course we must depend on God for all things," most Christians have been sold the world's bill of goods. They think that once they become dependent on God, then they will have immediate strength. They mimic the world's mantra: "Whatever doesn't kill me will make me stronger." While the principle is generally true, such thinking can foster an attitude of proud independence. We must understand that in being able to do all things through Christ who strengthens us means that we must depend on His strength continuously in order to do all things and to keep all our resolutions (Eph. 3:16; Col. 1:11). In truth, whatever doesn't kill us, by God's conforming grace, makes us weak so that in our weakness we will rely continuously on the strength of our Lord (II Cor. 12:7-10).

Resolutions Thirty-One-Forty
by Jonathan Edwards

31. Resolved, never to say any thing at all against any body, but when it is perfectly agreeable to the highest degree of Christian honor, and of love to mankind, agreeable to the lowest humility, and sense of my own faults and failings, and agreeable to the golden rule; often, when I have said anything against anyone, to bring it to, and try it strictly by the test of this Resolution.
32. Resolved, to be strictly and firmly faithful to my trust, that that, in Proverbs 20:6, 'A faithful man who can find?' may not be partly fulfilled in me.
33. Resolved, to do always, what I can towards making, maintaining, and preserving peace, when it can be done without overbalancing detriment in other respects.
34. Resolved, in narrations never to speak anything but the pure and simple verity.
35. Resolved, whenever I so much question whether I have done my duty, as that my quiet and calm is thereby disturbed, to set it down, and also how the question was resolved.
36. Resolved, never to speak evil of any, except I have some particular good call for it.
37. Resolved, to inquire every night, as I am going to bed, wherein I have been negligent, - what sin I have committed, - and wherein I have denied myself; - also at the end of every week, month and year.
38. Resolved, never to speak anything that is ridiculous, sportive, or matter of laughter on teh Lord's day.
39. Resolved, never to do anything of which I so much question the lawfulness of, as that I intend, at the same time, to consider and examine afterwards, whether it be lawful or not; unless I as much question the lawfulness of the omission.
40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking.

Don't you just long to meet him in heaven?

Have a great weekend! May the Lord bless your Lord's Day tomorrow.

Soli Deo Gloria~

Friday, December 26, 2008

Resolved By The Grace Of God, pt.3

Good Morning!

I hope all our Talk Time readers had a wonderful Christmas. Are you still enjoying those calorie free cookies :) You better eat 'em all now....because in 6 days we'll all be abounding in resolutions by the grace of God.

The article in Tabletalk that I'm taking these daily posts from takes Jonathan Edwards' opening paragraph to his resolutions and guides us in making our own resolutions.

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake.

Resolutions By The Grace Of God (continued)
by Burk Parsons

Resolving Sensibly
"Being sensible," Edwards begins his preface–we must be sensible, reasonable, in making resolutions. If we set ourselves about the business of hastily making resolutions as the result of our grand illusions of sinless perfection, it is likely that we will not merely fail in our attempt to keep such resolutions, we will likely be less inclined to make any further resolutions for similar desired ends. We must go about making resolutions with genuine prayer and thorough study of God's Word. Our resolutions must be in accord with the Word of God; therefore, any resolution we make must necessarily allow us to fulfill all our particular callings in life. We must consider all the implications of our resolutions and be careful to make resolutions with others in mind, even if it means implementing new resolutions incrementally over time.

Resolutions Twenty-One-Thirty
by Jonathan Edwards

21. Resolved, never to do any thing, which if I should see in another, I should count a just occasion to despise him for, or to think any way the more meanly of him.
22. Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.
23. Resolved, frequently to take some deliberate action, which seems most unlikely to be done, for the glory of God, and trace it back to the original intention, designs and ends of it; and if I find it not to be for God's glory, to repute it as a breach of the 4th resolution.
24. Resolved, whenever I do any conspicuously evil action, to trace it back, till I come to the original cause; and then, both carefully endeavor to do so no more, and to fight and pray with all my might against the original of it.
25. Resolved, to examine carefully, and constantly, what that one thing in me is, which causes me in the least to doubt of the love of God; and to direct all my forces against it.
26. Resolved, to cast away such things, as I find do abate my assurance.
27. Resolved, never willfully to omit any thing, except the omission be for the glory of God; and frequently to examine my omissions.
28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
29. Resolved, never to count that a prayer, nor to let that pass as a prayer, not that as a petition of a prayer, which is so made, that I cannot hope that God will answer it; nor that as a confession, which I cannot hope God will accept.
30. Resolved, to strive to my utmost every week to be brought higher in religion, and to a higher exercise of grace, than I was the week before.
I love those last three, especially. Feast on those, and Lord willing, more on resolutions tomorrow.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Resolved by the Grace of God, pt.2

Good Christmas Morning, Talk Time readers!

Part Two on resolutions:

Resolved By The Grace Of God (continued)
by Burk Parsons

The Resolve of Edwards
The nineteen-year-old Jonathan Edwards knew his weaknesses and was aware of the destructive nature of his sin, so he resolved to make and keep certain resolutions in his effort to live for God's glory. He helped pave the way for us all as he prefaced his seventy resolutions with these words:

Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake.

These simple, introductory words of Edwards not only provide us with a glimpse into the mind of one of history's greatest minds, they provide us with a glorious insight into the heart of a young man whose heart had been humbled and mastered by the Lord God Almighty. We would therefore do well to consider Edwards' prefatory remarks as we seek to glorify God and enjoy Him forever in our churches, our homes, and our hearts.

Resolutions Eleven-Twenty
by Jonathan Edwards

11. Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do wat I can towards solving it, if circumstances do not hinder.
12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by.
13. Resolved, to be endeavoring to find out fit objects of charity and liberality.
14. Resolved, never to do anything out of revenge.
15. Resolved, never to suffer the least motions of anger towards irrational beings.
16. Resolved, never to speak evil of anyone, so that it shall tend to his dishonor, more or less, upon no account except for some real good.
17. Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
18. Resolved, to live so, at all times, as I think is best in my devout frames, and when I have clearest notions of things of the gospel, and another world.
19. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if I expected it would not be above an hour, before I should hear the last trump.
20. Resolved to maintain the strictest temperance, in eating and drinking.

Now there was a man who was resolved, by God's grace, to glorify and enjoy Him with every fiber of his being. Oh, may the Lord make us saints like that...always with an eye to Heaven, and Heaven's King!

More on resolutions, Lord willing, tomorrow...

Merry Christmas from the Novelteatalkers

Handmade Christmas Ornaments

So, this week I made some Christmas ornaments for a friend and I thought I'd share some pictures with you. I had her husband send me pictures of the kids and then I made the ornaments out of them as a Christmas present. They are so super could totally do this, guys. And, I actually made them so that they don't look "Christmas-y" so she can use them all year...hang them on door knobs, etc.

Just remember, these pictures are taken with our computer that's why I am unfortunately in every picture, and why the writing is backwards!! But in any event, I hope you enjoy them. (and I think if you click on the picture you can get a bigger image.)

"Cute as a Button" (I used brads that look like buttons. I don't know if you can really tell in the picture.) On some of them I used a ribbon to hang them and on the others I used a medium-sized clothes pin. You can add little embellishments to the top of the clothespin, too, to match the ornament...very cute.


"time well spent"



"Happiness is found in simple things"



"fun times"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Too cute...

Happy Christmas Eve!

Christmas Cookie Rules

1. If you eat a Christmas cookie fresh out of the oven, it has no calories because everyone knows that the first cookie is the test and thus calorie free.

2. If you drink a diet soda after eating your second cookie, it also has no calories because the diet soda cancels out the cookie calories.

3. If a friend comes over while you are making your Christmas cookies and needs to sample, you must sample with your friend. Because your friend's first cookie is calories free rule #1 is yours also.
It would be rude to let your friend sample alone, and being the friend that you are makes your cookie calorie free.

4. Any cookie calories consumed while walking around will fall to your feet and eventually fall off as you move. This is due to gravity and the density of the caloric mass.

5. Any calories consumed during the frosting of the Christmas co okies will be used up because it takes many calories to lick excess frosting from a knife without cutting your tongue.

6. Cookies colored red or green have very few calories. Red ones have 3 and green ones have 5 - one calorie for each letter. Make more red ones!

7. Cookies eaten while watching Miracle on 34th Street have no calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel.

8. As always, cookie pieces contain no calories because the process of breaking causes calorie leakage.

9. Any cookies consumed from someone else's plate has no calories since the calories rightfully belong to the other person and will cling to their plate. We all know how calories like to CLING!

And finally...

10. Any cookies consumed while feeling stressed have no calories because cookies used for medicinal purposes NEVER have calories. It's a rule!

Resolved by the Grace of God, pt.1

As this year closes I wanted to post (hopefully every day...maybe not every day :) some thoughts on resolutions. The January issue of Tabletalk is themed on resolutions. So, I wanted to post some articles from Tabletalk and then close each post with some of Jonathan Edwards' resolutions. On January 1, Lord willing, I'll post my one main resolution for 2009 (after Jonathan Edwards has completely shamed me!). It might take a lot of work on my part, but I'll also try to get Lily to post her one main resolution, also. And, we would love comments – to know what you're resolved to do this year, by the grace of God.

Resolved By The Grace Of God by Burk Parsons

"...In order to remain steadfast in this persuit of active surrender of living for the sake of God and not for the sake of ministry, I must not only regularly confess my sin of self-reliance I must also resolve to remain resolved every day of my life -- living a life of repentence and faith, with every step and every breath, delighting in the Lord's abundant love and assurance. For if I confide in my own strength, my striving would indeed be losing.

Resolving to be Resolved
It seems that every new year, we are caught up in a whilrwind of welll-intentioned resolutions. With premeditated bursts of enthusiasm, those closest to us begin to take part in peculiar, and sometimes public activities that even cause neighborhod children to look puzzled. We find ourselves bearing witness to surprising edicts and seemingly self-conscious new year's manifestos whereupon we are summoned to behold what sweeping changes may come -- resolutions for impending dispositions, impossible diets, and impenetrable fortresses of discipline.
The skeptical observer may inquire, "is all this fervor really necessary?" Moreover, the cynical reader may ask: "Is it even appropriate to make resolutions? After all, shouldn't we at all times and all seasons seek to live wisely, obediently, and biblically?"
Some may even go so far as to argue that resolutions themselves are not biblical based on the fact that the Word of God itself provides us with a complete and authoritative compilation of God's resolutions for His people. To manufacture our own list of resolutions, they would argue, is superfluous at best.
These are the sorts of questions I have always considered when it comes to this whole business of making resolutions, and I have a hunch that many of my fellow biblically-informed skeptics also ponder such questions. Nevertheless, the Word of God gives us not only permission to make resolutions, it gives us good reasons for doing so. Various biblical passages seem to provide us with reasons for resolutions and examples of men of God who resolved to live for Him in a particular manner for a particular reason. As such, in considering how to glorify God in all that we do in our particular circumstances and callings, we would be wise to resolve to make particular resolutions to assist us in our sanctification. This we do by the power of the Holy Spirit, resting assured that we have been declared righteous by the Father becuse of the completed righteousness of the Son.

Resolutions One-Ten
by Jonathan Edwards

1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God's glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriads of ages hence, Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many soever and how great soever.
2.Resolved, to be continually endeavoring to find out some new contrivance and invention to promote the aforementioned things.
3. Resolved, if ever I shall fall and grow dull, so as to neglect to keep any part of these Resolutions, to repent of all I can remember, when I come to myself again.
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
8. Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.
9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.
10. Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of the pains of martyrdom, and of hell.

More on resolutions later this week....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Book Club -- Institutes of the Christian Religion

This morning I finished the third book of Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion. I made the goal of finishing this book by the end of December and now I'm ready to plunge into the fourth book and try to get it done by the conference: March 10 at 1:00 in the afternoon! I don't know if it's gonna happen...but I'm certainly gonna try. I can't quite now, right?

And, as always, when I finish a book of Calvin I have to give you a "quotable" right? I have been looking forward to the third book since I started the Institutes and it has fulfilled all my expectations. I think my favorite section was Chapter Twenty, on Prayer. It was excellent. So, I wanted to risk Lily's "long post displeasure" and post the entirety of section 2 of that chapter. I do hope it proves a blessing to you today. Now, I'm off to read Calvin...actually, to make a Christmas gift for one of my dearest coming soon, Lord willing (after I give it to her, in case she reads the blog before she gets the gift ;).

Have a great day!

In Him Who is Faithful,



"To prayer, then, are we indebted for penetrating to those riches which are treasured up for us with our heavenly Father. For there is a kind of intercourse between God and men, by which, having entered the upper sanctuary, they appear before Him and appeal to his promises, that when necessity requires they may learn by experiences that what they believed merely on the authority of his word was not in vain. Accordingly, we see that nothing is set before us as an object of expectation from the Lord which we are not enjoined to ask of Him in prayer, so true it is that prayer digs up those treasures which the Gospel of our Lord discovers to the eye of faith. The necessity and utility of this exercise of prayer no words can sufficiently express. Assuredly it is not without cause our heavenly Father declares that our only safety is in calling upon his name, since by it we invoke the presence of his providence to watch over our interests, of his power to sustain us when weak and almost fainting, of his goodness to receive us into favour, though miserably loaded with sin; in fine, call upon him to manifest himself to us in all his perfections. Hence, admirable peace and tranquillity are given to our consciences; for the straits by which we were pressed being laid before the Lord, we rest fully satisfied with the assurance that none of our evils are unknown to him, and that he is both able and willing to make the best provision for us."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

some inspiration...

...for the members of our Cooking Catastrophe Commiseration Club.

Mrs. Higgins' daughter-in-law has started her own business of making aprons. So, if you guys are being true to the club and commiserating that you don't have an apron and you desperately need one....because you're always having catastrophes all over your clothes! you go!

Anita Higgins presents the Cute Cook's Apron:

You can visit her sewing blog here, and see her other aprons and fabric combos. You can also place your order there. (my personal favorite is the Very Merry)

Aren't they adorable? For someone who has as many catastrophes as me in the kitchen, I think I'm in the market!!

Have a great evening!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Book Club -- Institutes of the Christian Religion

It's not really me pouring the tea because I'm just quoting Calvin! I'm sitting here with my glass of water with no ice and my Institutes of the Christian Religion. It's a cold, bleak, December day around here...perfect for tea...or water with no ice.

In any event, while I was on vacation last week I was reading all about works, and righteousness, and justification by faith alone. So, I wanted to let you guys get a taste of this feast. So, pull up a chair to the tea table, and grab a glass of water with no ice and allow Calvin to pour your tea for you today. He's the head of our conversations this afternoon, on the mercies of the Lord in our daily lives. It's talk time!

"What righteousness then, can men obtain by their works? First, I say, that the best thing which can be produced by them is always tainted and corrupted by the impurity of the flesh, and has, as it were, some mixture of dross in it. Let the holy servant of God, I say, select from the whole course of his life the action which he deems most excellent, and let him ponder it in all its parts; he will doubtless find in it something that savors of the rottenness of the flesh, since our alacrity in well-doing is never what it ought to be, but our course is always retarded by much weakness....We thus see, that even saints cannot perform one work which, if judged on its own merits, is not deserving of condemnation."

"Being admitted to participation in Him, though we are still foolish, He is our Wisdom; though we are still sinners, He is our Righteousness; though we are unclean, He is our purity; though we are weak, unarmed and exposed to Satan, yet ours is the power which has been given Him in heaven and in earth, to bruise Satan under our feet, and burst the gates of Hell; though we still bear about with us a body of death, He is our life; in short, all things of His are ours, we have all things in Him, He nothing in us. On this foundation, I say, we must be built, if we would grow up into a holy temple in the Lord."

"[Righteousness] does not justify because it forms an idea of the divine existence, but because it reclines with confidence on the divine mercy."

"'When we speak of the perfect virtue of the saints, part of this perfection consists in the recognition of our imperfection both in truth and in humility.'" (quoting Augustine)

'Faithful is the Lord, who has made himself our debtor, not by receiving anything from us, but by promising us all things.'" (quoting Augustine)

I could keep going for forever....there are so many more that I would love to share. But, I will save them for another day's tea.

May the Lord bless your Lord's Day tomorrow, as you feast upon the great things He has prepared for you in His day!

Savoring all the Mercies of the Savior,

Miss Blair

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Test of our Christianity

We read this in family worship this morning and I thought it was a really good reminder to start the day. This is a daily reading by William Still in a book called Through the Year With William Still. (emphasis mine)

Revelation 5:7-14
7 And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. 8 When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying, "Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. 10 "You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth." 11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing." 13 And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever." 14 And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen " And the elders fell down and worshiped.

The Lion-Lamb who has 'witnessed' the will of God in His work of redemption and judgement now takes the scroll out of the 'hand' of One on the throne. In humble obedience and yet in sovereign power He has perfectly accomplished the Father's eternal purposes (Heb. 5:7-9).
This is the signal for an outburst of praise and worship: a total massing of all created beings, both angelic and human, to honor the Son in a climax of praise. There are orders of beings who have been given free-will by God, yet have willingly, gladly and spontaneously laid their all at His feet in absolute worship. We should learn from the unfallen angels, as they are said in Ephesians 3:10 to learn from us.
It is given us that we might see the Babe in Bethlehem, the Man of Galilee, the Savior of Calvary, and the Risen One as All-in-all, as He must be to us more and more. This is the test of our Christianity: how holily excited can you become about Jesus who has done all for your salvation to the perfect pleasing of His Father?

May the Lord cause us to be wholly holily excited about His great salvation of such great sinners. "For you are not your own, you were bought at a great price."

Savoring the Mercies of the Savior,


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Big Test

Hello Talk Time readers! Oh, I'm so glad to be back from vacation. Today was my first day back to school and I was sittin' at lunch today thinkin', "I'm so glad I'm not on vacation anymore." The Lord did bless our time but still...I'm glad I'm back to school, chores, the daily routine, choir, piano, teaching, and most of all: church! I can't wait to be back at Redeemer on Sunday!!

So, my week started off at the DMV. Monday morning at 9:00 I went to take my driving test (the on-the-road part) to get my license. I was so nervous. I couldn't stop thinkin' about it all weekend and everyone was trying to encourage me and tell me what I always tell them, "hey, no big deal!" But, I was still really nervous. The Lord just has this way of using every little moment to drive us back to Him and to prayer! There were a lot of prayers bein' prayed.

So on Monday I was shaking...just dreading the test. I got there and the DMV worker was grumpy. Of course that made me even more nervous. But that's ok....I know how to pray (at least the Lord's continually teachin' me ;)! So, we get out there on the road and he really just told me what to do and where to go. We went into this neighborhood and he told me to stop and to do a 3-point turn. I was so glad because I totally rocked those in Driver's Ed. Then he told me to back up in a straight line....what a relief to look forward again and see wet tire marks perfectly straight up the road :) And then I had to do a quick-stop. So basically, when he says "stop" just pretend there's a child runnin' in front of the car and slam your brakes. You just can't really fail that ;) Then I drove back to the DMV and he had me park. Thankfully the parking spot was on my right because I do better parking if I turn right rather than left into the space.

But, after that, he didn't even tell me if I passed or failed. Daddy had to ask him! I did pass...and now I'm a licensed driver!!

So, this afternoon I drove to choir by myself. It was the first place I ever drove by myself. It's supposed to be exciting and new, ya know. I was just plain lonely! Actually, it was fun -- I did enjoy it. But I love havin' my little Buggies in the back seat talkin' to me and there was nothin'.... I missed 'em.

That was Monday (and Tuesday). Wednesday I'll get to drive to piano. And Thursday is our big choir concert!! I'm so excited. Anybody in the Charlotte area? You're welcomed to come...I would love to see you there. You can e-mail me for location, etc. Somehow I'm just not thinkin' I'm gonna get a lot of e-mails, though. I'll have to do a post on that after Thursday night.

I hope you're all havin' a great week! Lily and I are gonna try to get some book club posts written sometime soon...and of course that means Notable Quotables. (by the way, the Notable Quotable on the side-bar still changes every Monday)

Have a great evening!

In the Savior,


Monday, December 1, 2008

Back from vacation

Hi everyone!

Just checking in to see how every body's Thanksgiving holiday was! My family visited Jamestown, Williamsburg and D.C. (thankfully missing out on the thanksgiving/bubonic plague our other family had in Tennessee) We had a great time. I'll say more later when I post the pictures. Meanwhile I'm working on SAT prep, GCA assignments and math (blech). But it will be worth it since we're decorating for Christmas tonight while watching Celtic Woman. Anyway, busy day ahead so look for more later. Sarah and I will both have reading updates in the near future.