Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Holiness of God

Good afternoon!

I wanted to start off the week with this "Notable Quotable". D.A. Carson spoke at the Ligonier Conference a couple weeks ago. The theme of the conference was the Holiness of God. This quote sneaked it's way into our church bulletin, and now it's found its way on here. Enjoy!

"People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish indiscipline of lost self- control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated." ~ D.A. Carson, The Love of God

Monday, March 23, 2009

We Interrupt This Broadcast...

...for an installment of the Cooking Catastrophe Commiseration Club.

Well, ok, there are no cooking catastrophes yet. And there's nothing but excitement...yet.

At the beginning of the year I asked Mama (in an attempt to continue developing my slow-growing desire to cook) if, in the months that have 5 Sundays (there are 4 of them this year) I could take the fifth Sunday and decide who I want to have over, what I'm gonna make (down to the dessert) and all that good "hospitality stuff."

She said I could and March is the first one with a fifth Sunday. And this coming Sunday is "my day!" Actually, it's the Lord's Day but anyway....

So, the plan: have the 4 deacons and their families over for enchiladas, chips and homemade salsa (thank you for the recipe, Mrs. Larson) and guacamole, and salad, and chocolate chip cookies and ice cream for dessert.

Well, the first "catastrophe" (though not a cooking one) is that one of my deacon's families is goin' to Florida this week. Fine. No big deal. I'll just make enchiladas without them. See how they like it :) Well then, another deacon is leaving for Florida. Come on! Aren't these trips to Florida supposed to be in the summer? At least his wife will still have lunch with us :) But hey, that's cool. The Lord has better plans for us. I just figure it's a good excuse to do this again!!

So, yesterday I'm at church thinkin' of other people to have over. I mean, I'm sorry but 21 isn't enough. I need more to fill in those empty places I have now (by the way, the 21 includes the Blairs). So, I invited a couple more people. So my deacon lunch of 23 has turned into some deacons and some others lunch of 23. I am so excited about this weekend.

We just got home from grocery shopping. I had my whole shopping list made out and got all the stuff I'll need for somethin' like 5,001 enchiladas :) I can't wait to let you guys know how it turns out. Lord willing, there will be no catastrophes. If there are, there will be lots of people to witness it :)

So, I was waiting until this week to see if ice cream would be on sale so I could make chocolate chip cookies (at a deacon's request :) with ice cream. So guess what the sale was this week? (by the way, we're very picky about our brand of ice cream so it's important that the particular brand is on sale otherwise we don't get ice cream) Anyway, the sale was buy 2 get 3 free! Can you believe that? The Lord had it all planned out for this particular week. What a sweet providence.

Oh, and the other thing (just one more) that I'm so excited about is that in March we don't have Sunday school. We have Sunday school April-February. The kids learn their catechism questions and answers and then they learn their memory verses to music. So the first Sunday in March we have a Sunday school program where all the kids present what they've learned (they do such a great job. It's so wonderful to see 'em all up there...little cuties :) and then for the rest of March we don't have Sunday school while the teachers (and pianists) work out the curriculum and music for the next year. Well, this is still March and so that means that after worship (we have Sunday school after worship at Redeemer) we're free to hang or whatever. So it greatly increases the amount of fellowship time we have. See now everyone can come over and be at our house before noon and we don't have to leave until 4:30 for evening worship. It's a whole day of sweet worship and fellowship with the saints! But then, that's just me and my super social excitement :)

Ok, I've interrupted the broadcast long enough. I just had to give you guys this "talk time thing." :)


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Conference Highlights, pt. 3

One more conference highlight for the week to send you "singing and shouting for joy" into your Lord's Day. We sang Stand Up O God Be Present Now. This hymn always makes me teary...every time. And if you sing it right after a lecture that made you teary (and still makes you teary when you listen to the cd) then you're just the sniffly row :) (since I was NOT the only one tearing up during the lecture and the hymn :)

May the Lord richly bless you as you delight yourselves in Him on His day!

Rejoicing in our Precious Savior,

Sarah for the Novelteatalkers

Stand Up, O God, Be Present Now

Stand up, O God, be present now,
And all who hate You, let them run
Like driven smoke, like melting wax,
Bound for destruction, doomed to die.
But let the righteous sing and dance,
Yes, sing and dance and shout for joy,
For He who rides upon the clouds
Is coming as He came of old.
His justice vindicates the oppressed,
He frees the pris'ner, brings him home.
Stand up, O God, be present now,
And we will sing and shout for joy!

Stand up, O God, be present now,
As once on Sinai You were heard
By those who left the prison's chain,
Who crossed the sea and faced the sand.
They ate the manna, drank from springs
Provided by Your gracious love.
They watched as mighty armies fled,
And so they gained the promised land.
Now, marching on to Zion's mount,
We see the heav'nly host descend.
Stand up, O God, be present now,
And we will sing and shout for joy!

Stand up, O God, be present now,
And we, Your people, will rejoice,
For You have saved us from the pit,
For You have brought us back from death.
So to Your holy place we come
With choirs and music young and old.
Rebuke the godless, cast them down
Till humbled they for mercy call;
Then men shall listen for Your voice
As riding through the heavens You come.
Stand up, O God, be present now,
And we will sing and shout for joy!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Conference Highlights, pt. 2

Good afternoon!

Here's another conference highlight, hymn-wise. I loved this one even before the conference. It's one of my most favorite hymns. This is actually written by Calvin. Enjoy!

Have a great day! It's beautiful outside!

In our Sure Redeemer,


I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art

I greet thee, who my sure Redeemer art,
My only trust and Saviour of my heart,
Who pain didst undergo for my poor sake;
I pray thee from our hearts all cares to take.

Thou art the King of mercy and of grace,
Reigning omnipotent in every place:
So come, O King, and our whole being sway;
Shine on us with the light of thy pure day.

Thou art the life, by which alone we live,
And all our substance and our strength receive;
O comfort us in death's approaching hour,
Strong-hearted then to face it by thy pow'r.

Thou hast the true and perfect gentleness,
No harshness hast thou and no bitterness:
Make us to taste the sweet grace found in thee
And ever stay in thy sweet unity.

Our hope is in no other save in thee;
Our faith is built upon thy promise free;
O grant to us such stronger hope and sure
That we can boldly conquer and endure.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Conference Highlights, pt. 1

So last week was the conference...in case some of you missed that...somehow. It was such a rich time. Such sweet fellowship. Wonderful lectures (some of them were particularly wonderful). Excellent singing (did Lily and I ever mention that it's like a piece of heaven...at least as far as our simple imaginations can fathom?). I will speak for myself: the conference was such a rich blessing from the Lord's hand.

But, you guys know that when something is "that good" I tend to pour every detail into one post and it goes on for forever and you probably never read the whole thing anyway :) And I mean, really, we've got 3-4 days of incredible wonderfulness to share. So, because we want you to read our posts and feast on all this good stuff with us, we're gonna do a series of posts.

Lily is at the Ligonier Conference this week so she'll do all her posting next week...right, Lily?

Who knows how long this series will last. But, I want to start by posting some of the hymns (and psalms) that were so good. Maybe you're thinkin' "whatever!" But ya know what? I have sung all of these before and some of the words just really hit me like they never have before. Some of them I've memorized since I got home and they're such wonderful reminders throughout the day. I mean, you just can't beat this: sittin' in traffic bein' reminded that "All flesh shall see the token That His word is never broken." So, the first hymn:

Comfort, Comfort Ye My People

Comfort, comfort ye my people,
Speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
Comfort those who sit in darkness,
Mourning 'neath their sorrow's load.
Speak ye to Jerusalem
Of the peace that waits for them;
Tell her that her sins I cover,
And her warfare now is over.

Yea, her sins our God will pardon,
Blotting out each dark misdeed;
All that well deserved his anger
He no more will see or heed.
She hath suffered many a day
Now her griefs have passed away;
God will change her pining sadness
Into ever-springing gladness.

For the herald's voice is crying
In the desert far and near,
Bidding all men to repentance,
Since the kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way;
Let the valleys rise to meet him,
And the hills bow down to greet him.

Make ye straight what long was crooked,
Make the rougher places plain;
Let your hearts be true and humble,
As befits his holy reign.
For the glory of the Lord
Now o'er earth is shed abroad;
And all flesh shall see the token,
That his word is never broken.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Just in case the Talk Time readers had lost track of how many days it is until the conference. I'm off to pack!

Actually, I'm waiting for Lily to call me. We were going to pack and talk on the phone (get in our weekly call even though we'll see each other all week) at the same time. Don't laugh at us. I mean, yeah, it's a little ridiculous. But we still have that girlish excitement about seeing each other.

It's been 9.5 years since I met Lily and every day of our friendship is just a little bit sweeter than the one before.

Have a great day!


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Time Change

Just a reminder...

Day Light Savings Time begins tonight. Don't forget to set your clocks forward one hour before you go to bed tonight....otherwise you will make it to church in time for the benediction.

Only 3 days until the conference! So, if there are no posts between now and the beginning of the following week it's because we're all busy packing and getting ready for the long anticipated conference. All three of the Novelteatalkers will be in Greenville next week....so no posts. But feel free to come join us :)

May the Lord richly bless you and refresh your soul in His house tomorrow....bright and early!

Miss Blair for the Novelteatalkers