Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Annual Reunion

The time has come!!! Come Thursday, the Blair and Freeman ladies will be reunited for ten days of girl festivities! This has meant a lot to us after being separated about seven years ago. The Freeman family moved to Atlanta, Georgia while the Blair family relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina. We started this "house swap" tradition, and we've kept in close contact ever since. This year, it is the Blair girls' turn to come to the Freemans' house. However, one very significant extension is being added to the normal, seven day visit. Sarah's family is hosting a party in honour of her graduation from high school. So the Freeman ladies will be traveling early to Charlotte to be at the party and to spend the weekend at the Blair house. On Monday, the 26th, begins the seven day vacation at the Freeman house.

...And we have a lot planned! Sarah and I have an outing to Tea Leaves and Thyme, a cute little tea shop in downtown Woodstock, where we will discuss our next book club book. We are hosting a little knitting club and will be joined by several other ladies young and old. Sarah is finally going to meet her email acquaintance, Anna Leigh Page! And on Friday night, we have a sleepover planned with two other sisters coming over...I'm thinking that a sisters vs. sisters game of Taboo is in order. Besides this, we have the exciting change of a new church, Geneva OPC. I know that Sarah is very excited about attending Prayer Meeting on Wednesday night and Worship on Sunday.

So that is the update!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

William Jay - Morning Exercises: July 7th

Hi everyone!

I know, I know....this is supposed to be a post on Watson's Heaven Taken By Storm...well, you'll just have to wait.
We read this in our devotions at breakfast this morning. I'll save the rest of what I have to say for the comments. Enjoy reading...Rev. William Jay's writing is deep, but the language is simple. Cheers!

July 7 "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:24

It is commonly supposed that here is a reference to a cruel usage sometimes practiced by the tyrants of antiquity, and which is mentioned by Virgil and Cicero and Valerius Maximus. It consisted in fastening a dead carcass to a living man. Now suppose a dead body bound to your body, its hands to your hands, its face to your face, its lips to your lips. Here is not only a burden, but an offense. You cannot separate yourself from your hated companion; it lies down, and rises up, and walks with you. You cannot breathe without inhaling a kind of pestilence, and "Oh," you would say, "Oh how slowly the parts corrupt and fall off! Oh, how can I longer endure it? When shall I be free? O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" This is very strong, but it comes not quite up to Paul's case. He is speaking of such a wretchedness not without him, but within.

Whatever we may think of this allusion, here is a representation of the sin that dwells in us; it is the body of this death, or, this body of death. It is called a body, to intimate the entirety and universality of the evil. Thus we call a code of laws, a body of laws, and a system of divinity. a body of divinity. And it is a body of death, to mark its malignant effect. Gunpowder is a body of destruction; arsenic is a body of poison; sin is a body of death. It brought death into the world. It has slain all the inhabitants of the earth, and will soon slay us. It has brought upon us spiritual, as well as corporeal death. And it produces a deadness even in the souls of believers, and hinders the operation of those vital principles which that have received from above. By this baneful influence, the tendencies of the divine life in them, which are so glorious, are chilled and checked; and therefore they are frequently wandering in meditation, and stupid in reading and hearing, and insensible in prayer, and dull even in praise; till roused by reflection, they cry, My soul cleaves to the dust; quicken me according to your word.

For there are remains of this evil even in the subjects of divine grace. None of them are free. In many things, says James, we offend all. In all our doings, says the church, our sins do appear. My tears says Beveridge, require to be washed in the blood of Christ, and my repentance needs to be repented of. Those who could die for the Saviour have used the most humbling language with regard to themselves. Sometimes, says Bradford, O my God, there seems to be no difference between me and the wicked; my understanding seems as dark as theirs, and my will as perverse as theirs, and my heart as hard as theirs. Yea, says Paul, at the end of so many years of advancement, I have not attained, I am not already perfect. After this, "Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?"

But observe the distress this remaining corruption occasions them. It is their chief burden and grief. Oh wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from this body of death? Paul never said any thing like this of any of his [physical] sufferings. ...

The people of the world judge of Christians by their own views and feelings, and because they love sin, and would deem the liberty to indulge in it a privilege, they think Christians are disposed to take every advantage from the same purpose. But how shall they who are dead to sin live any longer therein? Sin is [the Christian's] abhorrence, and at the foot of the cross they have sworn to have indignation against it for ever. they have a new nature, and as far as they are sanctified, there is as perfect a contrariety between them and sin as between darkness and light. Hence the contest within. The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these being contrary the one to the other, they cannot do the things that they would. And will not this be painful? ...

... Thus you may drive a sword through the body of a dead man, and no muscle moves; while the puncture of a thorn will pain a living one all over.