Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Book Club~Very Unique Jewel of Christian Contentment

Finally, another post! It's been a busy few weeks at the Blair's home, and I'm sure at the Freeman's home, as well.

Part of that busyness does not include the book club. I am making an executive Talk Time decision (that Lily and I sort-of talked about on Saturday): the book club is on hold until March 10 at 1:00. That's when the Greenville Conference begins and Calvin's Institutes should be finished! Right now, I'm jammin' on Calvin and so *pause* on the Very Unique Jewel of Christian Contentment.

Yeah, Lily and I changed the name (we're allowed, it's just a puritan, ya know?) Have you ever heard people say something was "very unique"? Ya know, "We live in a very unique neighborhood." Or, "I have a very unique personality." Ya know what, guys? It can't be. Unique means one-of-a-kind, right? Right. So how can you be very one-of-a-kind? How can you be more one-of-a-kind than one-of-a-kind? It just can't be! So the other day Lily and I were talking about contentment (and probably our lack of) and we think that Burroughs really should have emphasized the "rare" part of the title. Or, actually, it should be "The Very Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment." Or how about the "Very Unique Jewel of Christan Contentment." It just can't's so rare, it's very unique. So, that concludes our book club posts until March 10 at 1:00 (and don't count on one then, either because I'll be listening to Dr. McGoldrick on Calvin!!) In any event, go strive after that very unique's worth all the striving!

So, a Calvin/conference update: 1 month, 2 weeks, 3 days until the conference and 227 pages of Calvin left to read. Who thinks I'm gonna make it and who thinks the ratio of 48 days to 227 pages is *hopeless*? (and that is the ratio because 227 is a prime number so it can't be reduced.)

Yeah, math is all part of the busyness around here, lately.

The big news of my week is that yesterday I did get registered for the it's official!!

To close this rambling post, a quote that I read the other day:

John Cotton (a puritan minister in the 1600's) was asked why he stayed up so late reading at night? His answer was:

"Because I love to sweeten my mouth with a bit of Calvin before I go to bed."

I greatly encourage you to try a bit of Calvin. Sweeten your mouth with Calvin on prayer (Institutes, book 3, chapter 20). It will greatly encourage your soul. And Lily, you better not comment and say that you love to read Calvin before you go to bed because it puts you to does not and that would completely ruin my point! ;)

But, I do hope you guys are having a great week so far....striving after that very unique jewel of Christian contentment!!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than all we can ever ask or think, be all the praise, in the church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever~

Sarah for the Novelteatalkers

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Resolution

Happy New Year Everyone!

I'm surprised to actually be writing this, and I'm sure Sarah is too! It's been very busy the past few months. So it's 2009 and a fresh start and everyone is coming up with goals and resolutions etc. I've had the hardest time coming up with a single "New Year's" resolution. However, I seem to have finally arrived at my decision. This year I'm going to strive to be healthy. For the past two years, I've been busy filling in for my mom (diagnosed with severe plantar fasciitis) in the home. With school, errands and shopping, all housework, piano teaching, and all the other things to do on the side it has been a difficult and busy past few years. During all of this I've repeatedly had issues with fatigue and other stress related problems. Right now I'm at a point of moderate adrenal fatigue. (For a list of symptoms click here) Recovering from this isn't always easy. I've habitually been getting poor sleep, poor nourishment (because of loss of appetite and food cravings), and almost no exercise. So my body is telling me that it is time to regain control.

Instead of resolving to get on a fitness program I'm taking Dr. Oz's advice and simply resolving to be healthy. As a Christian I believe that living as a holy temple is important. Adrenal fatigue takes it's toll both physically and emotionally leading to spiritual problems (or heightening them). So being healthy physically affects my health spiritually.

In light of all of this, I thought it would be fun to do a short little series of healthy habits. So hopefully in the near future, I'll pull some stuff together! Meanwhile, hoping you are well!

Soli Deo Gloria,

Monday, January 5, 2009

Conference Countdown

Good Evening,

The Blair crew has been enjoying a few weeks of vacation and tomorrow, it's back to early rising, school, work, laundry, chores, choir, piano, practice, teaching, early bedtimes (I can't wait!!) and all the things that make life around here so spicy. I can't wait until tomorrow.

But, today has had it's perks also. My plans for going to the Greenville Conference are close to be finished and I'll be able to register soon.

I have about 270 pages left to read in the Institutes.

I had a very fun trip to Barnes and Noble this morning with my sis and Mama. I just love getting good books. I got our book club book three books from now :) After Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, and Heaven Taken by Storm (which I am totally pumped about), we're hoping to read God's Passion for His Glory with the complete text of Jonathan Edwards's book, The End For Which God Created the World. I can't wait. And we would love it if any and all of our Talk Time readers want to join us in reading it (or any of our book club books). And, I also got another book by Piper, Taste and See. It also looks really good. In a couple minutes, when Mama comes back downstairs I hope to order Calvin's Sermons on Ephesians and Given For You: Reclaiming Calvin's Doctrine of the Lord's Supper. I mean, come on, after I finish the Institutes I have to have something else by Calvin to read, right? Yeah! So, it's been a fun day. How about all of you?

Tomorrow pretty much equals no posts. Between school, chores, work, teaching, choir, piano, prayer meeting, teaching keepers at home, writing a paper, reading, co-op...oh yeah, and finishing Calvin, you can count on no posts from me until Friday afternoon or Saturday. But, Lily said that she'd post her resolution of the year so she's chained to at least doing one post for you this week.

May the Lord bless and keep all of you, and continue to cause His face to shine upon you this year!

Miss Blair

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Resolved By The Grace Of God, pt.8

Happy New Year to all our tea drinkers...or water-with-no-ice drinkers.

To close my (since Lily contributed nothing) series on resolutions and to begin the new year: my "resolution of first importance."

But before I give you that resolution, let's preview last year's. My main resolution for 2008 was to learn to love cooking. Not because I wanted to just love every minute in the kitchen and be the best chef ever. I wanted to learn to love cooking because when I would have to cook anything (ok, forget cooking -- just make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich) I did not have a heart that was glorifying and enjoying the Lord in everything...forever. So, I wanted the Lord to teach me to love to cook and to glorify Him in it, and to force myself to get into the kitchen and bless people by food ;) I mean, there is just something about sitting down around a table full of food that ties strings. The Lord gives us the table to commune with Him. He sat around the table with tax-collectors and sinners. He feasted with His disciples. There's just something about the table that brings us together and builds relationships.

Well, today, to kick off the year, I was in the kitchen for a couple hours makin' cookies for the neighbors. Oh, but not just making cookies. I had to make a double batch. So yeah, I did have to do that math in my head ;) And, I did dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. I know, goin' out on a limb! The Lord has been good this year. Not just in the kitchen (because I even have new schemes for 2009 of how to get in the kitchen and cook, and bless people...and I'm excited about them!!) but also in my friendships, and my place as a daughter, a sister, a saint, a member of Redeemer, a teacher, a student, a member of the family (and all the joys and chores that invovles ;). The Lord is good and faithful. We are the children of Heaven's King and He will not neglect or forsake His precious treasures!

So now, resolution "of first importance" for the new year. Of course, there are plenty of resolutions like being more faithful in exercising every day (shouldn't be hard since exercising twice a week would be an improvement ;), or finishing the Institutes by March 10 (oh yeah, it's definitely a resolution but it was made last year, HEllo! ;) There are lots of "grand visions" for what I should be like in the new year. But my main resolution, my desire for this year, my longing by the grace of God, is Philippians 2:4~

"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."

My desire for 2009 is that the Lord would teach me more and more to look not at my own things but also at the things of others: that I would speak to others thinking of them and not myself; speaking about others thinking of them and not myself. That I would pour myself out as a servant for others knowing that they are more important than me and my selfish desires. That I would think of my neighbor's happiness more than my own. That I would "love my neighbor as myself."

Ok, now it's your turn. Comment me (us ;) with your resolutions. Go ahead, give us a whole list! We would love to know what you're "chewin' on."

May the Lord bless us, and keep us, and cause His face to shine upon us, this year, as we "look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others" the grace of God.

In our precious Savior, with much rejoicing for the great things He has done,

Miss Blair for the Novelteatalkers

p.s. I was going to get Lily to post her resolution of the year but she is out of town so I'm the only poster these days. I'll work on it when she gets back, though.