Tuesday, January 31, 2006


From the time they tucked that little sweet smelling bundle of baby boy into my arms I have wondered, "What will he be like? What kind of man will he grow up to be? Who will he marry? What kind of father will he be? What will he make of his future?"

I have had reason to reflect upon these thoughts anew because our firstborn son, John, is getting married. I've been going through his pictures one by one. Each one brings along with it a memory of John. John as a newborn. John the night owl. John, the toddler, who learned to walk at nine months and run soon after. The first day of kindergarten. His first pair of glasses. Playing Little League Baseball. Learning to drive. His first job. Graduating from college.

Parents pay attention to the way their children's characters are developing. I can say without hesitation that in every way, John has grown into the kind of man that we hoped and prayed he would be. I have tried to think of a single word that describes John. Many come to mind: kind, patient, hard-working, easy going, fun loving, conversationalist. He is all those things--and more--but the word I would use is faithful. John is faithful in the big things and the little things. He is a man who can be counted upon.

Our future daughter in law is a lucky girl. She is marrying a man who is faithful--to his family, to his values, to his God.

Memories are made of this

When Sam was in the fifth grade, I read The Lord of the Rings to him from my big, red book. We read a little everyday. Some days we read a lot. Now, I've been reading Tolkien's works since I was in junior high and have always loved them, but there was just something special about reading this book to my son as he lay on his tummy on the bed, pouring over the maps with a faraway look on his face.

When we read the last sentences, "He drew a deep breath. 'Well, I'm back,' he said"; we both drew a deep breath. It was one of those moments. I had planned for a long while to give Sam my copy of the Red book when we finished reading. When I told him that I wanted him to have the book for his own, he protested. "No, Mom. It's your favorite." I reminded him that I still had my original trilogy, given to me by my parents when I graduated from high school. I told him that I wanted him to have it and read it to his children someday. He finally accepted the gift and then, with an impish grin and a sparkle in his eye he broke the intensity of "the moment" by asking, "Can I have the bookmark, too?"

God's Minute 1/31

January 31

With thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.--Philippians 4:6

OUR Father in Heaven, we praise Thee for the mercy-seat to which we can come, and before which Thou art so pleased to have us bow. Help us to approach it with pure hearts and with sincere motives. Teach us our need of Thee. Show us how dangerous it it to live without the consciousness of Thy presence. Walk with us as Jesus walked with His two companions to Emmaus. Help us to commune with Thee as friend with friend. Prevent us from willful sin. Subdue our heart's rebellion, and keep us at peace with Thee.

Help us to be patient and sympathetic with all who may need our help. If we have wronged anyone, give us the grace of repentance and confession. If any have injured us, enable us to forgive and forget.

Bless our home, and all who are dear to us by the ties of kinship and friendship. Inspire and strengthen us so that we will be able to glorify Thee in home, in school, in the factory, or shop. Forgive us wherein we may in any way have grieved Thee, and aid us in our efforts to avoid the mistakes of yesterday. Our prayer is in the name of Him Who loved us, and gave His life to save us.


H. W. Crews, D.D.,

Woodstock, Ont., Canada

Monday, January 30, 2006

What kind of writer are you?

You're a Dialogue/Character Writer!

What kind of writer are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Found at Ian's Messy Desk

(Strange; the only time I tried to write a book, the thing with which I had the most trouble was dialogue, which probably only proves that I value what I cannot do!)

A different kind of writer's block

There is more than one type of writer's block. Calligraphers experience a form of writers block. Sometimes there is nothing more enchanting than the blank page. When the energy and imagination are engaged it is an invitation spend a day immersed in letters. But there are times when the blank page mocks you. "You're out of practice. You just don't have it anymore. Give up before you humiliate yourself."

I am working on my son's wedding invitation. It is slow going. I am out of practice. I am older now and I feel the effects of fibromyalgia and arthritis. I have lost my confidence. This is not just another project. It's important to me, to him, to my future daughter in law.

This is what calligraphers do when they have writer's block. They attack the blank page randomly; quickly and without a lot of thought to form and arrangement.

And if all else fails, they re-organize all their supplies and clean their desktop and decide to blog about it. . .

Karen, at Sower's Corner, has posted her wedding invitation, lettered in Calligraphy by her mother-in-law. Thanks for sharing that, Karen!

Casting the 'net

This is just too good not to bring to your attention! Randi is conducting an online quilting class at I Have to Say. I am absolutely in awe at the amazing pictures and easy to follow instructions that she is providing for her online students. As a seasoned quilter myself, "I have to say" that if you've ever wanted to make a quilt but didn't know where to start, this is a great place to get started! Randi not only provides instructions on cutting and sewing, but also on choosing fabrics. The photos are excellent.

This is a major accomplishment. I hope that you'll go visit Randi's class. Whether you ever make a quilt or not, you will be blessed to have seen excellence in action.

God's Minute 1/30

January 30

Ask cousel, we pray thee, of God.--Judges 18:15

OUR Heavenly Father: Thou hast made us for Thyself. We are the tender objects of Thy solicitude and care; Thou art more thoughtful of us and ours than we ourselves are.

We are conscious of our weakness. Temptations assail us. Our lives are often in the shadows, and we are inclined from the right. Awaken in us, O Lord, a sincere desire for Thee, for Thy house, and for Thy welcome. Help us to feel that we can never satisy our souls until we satisfy them in Thee.

We feel deep within us the call ofGod to do our best. Do not permit us to rest in false security, in pleasant sins, or in popular falsehoods of whatever kinds. When we are satisfied with what we have done, show us the danger of losing our ideals of perfetion. And when the way seems hard, and the by-paths pleasant and enticing, give us Thy gracious help. Hear us, our Father, in the forgiveness of our sins. May Thy Kingdom come in power, that all men everywhere may know Thee as Lord and Master. May Thy will be done in our lives, and in the world, near and far, as it is in Heaven. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Bishop Lawrence H. Seager, D.D.,
Naperville, Illinois

Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Rainy Day and a Cup of Tea

Come along inside... We'll see if tea and
buns can make the world a better place.
~The Wind in the Willow~

God's Minute 1/29

January 29

I was glad when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within Thy gates, O Jerusalem. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they prosper that love Thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek Thy good.--Psalm 122:1-2;6;9

For Sunday Morning

O LORD, Jesus Christ, Who on this day didst arise from the grave, send forth Thy quickening Spirit, we beseech Thee, upon Thy people, that they may rise to newness of life. Drive away worldly cares, lift up our minds to high and noble thoughts, and to spiritual desires.

Hear the prayers of all that are offered in public and in private, for themselves and for their brethren. Grant that all who can may attend the public worship of Thy church, and approach Thee with reverence and confidence. Bless the ministrations of Thy Word and Sacraments. Inspire those who speak and act in Thy name, with the spirit of truth, and love, and power.

Meet the varied needs and fulfil the desires of Thy people. Bind us in fellowship one with another, as with Thy self. Enable us to go forth from the worship and instruction of Thy holy day with renewed strength and courage to perform the duties and bear the trials which are appointed for us.

Grant this, and all our petitions, for Thy Holy Name's sake.


Bishop Arthur C. A. Hale,
Burlington, Vermont

Saturday, January 28, 2006

writer's block fill-ins

I've been saving this back for a time when I couldn't think of a single thing to write.

Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much but the reception was excellent.

God's Minute 1/28

January 28

If My people pray, I will forgive their sin.--2 Chronicles 7:14

Help us now, O Lord, to draw near to Thee as a family. Incline our hearts to seek Thy face, and graciously withdraw the veil that we may be conscious of Thy presence.

We ask Thee graciously to forgive all that Thou hast seen amiss, and to cleanse our hearts by the inspiration of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love Thee and worthily magnify Thy Holy Name. Help us, who have had much forgiven, to forgive others, even to seventy times seven. Keep us from envy and jealousy, from pride and passion, and from every thing that would grieve Thy Holy Spirit. May we indeed be dead unto sin, and alive unto righteousness, through Jesus Christ.

Bless those whom we love. Comfort and help them in whatever circumstances they may be placed; and may they and we be finally gathered to the house of many mansions. Have mercy on all men, and bring them to the knowledge of the truth. These and all other petitions we offer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, and pray Thee to do for us exceeding abundantly beyond all we ask or think, for Thy mercies' sake.


Reverand F.B. Meyers, B.A.,
London, England

Friday, January 27, 2006

God's Minute 1/27

January 27

I love the Lord because He hath heard my voice.--Psalm 116:1

O THOU Who art the light of all who must walk alone in the path of shadows, teach us to so trust Thee that fear may no longer beset us. We confess that we hve often faltered when we have put our own thoughts and imaginings in the place of Thine omniscience. We lament our constant reckoning with human weakness when Thou hast promised the joy of the Lord which shall be our strength.

Teach us more of the power of purity, and forgive our sin of distrust of Thy love. If we cannot see beyond the turn of the road, may we yet be conscious of a companionship that leads us in confidence toward each new experience. Grant us the peace of Christ to quiet our feverish hearts, and lend courage for life's daily test of faith and discipleship. We covet the refreshing of Thy grace to lend strength for each new duty, and to enlarge our hearts to receive the fulness of Thy blessing. Lead us, we pray, into the green pastures and beside the still waters, that our spirits may be renewed at the fountains of Infinite Love--shall we be heartened, and enabled to serve Thee more worthily in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour.


Charles Gorman Richards, D.D.,
Auburn, New York

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Clean Hair Klingon

Ivy loves clean, freshly shampooed hair. She loves to rub her whole body against clean, wet hair and get the scent all over herself. Doesn't she look happy?

Why I blog about my dogs

Maybe I should have titled this "Why I blog."

Recently, my blog has been added to the GodBlogRoll. One of the categories I "fit in" is "home school." But if you're coming here to read about our homeschool, you are going to be disappointed. The regular readers here will tell you that I rarely, if ever, blog about it.

There are a couple of reasons for that. First of all, we've been doing school at home for eleven years. It's become so much a part of our daily lives that it's a bit like doing the laundry or cooking dinner. It's just what we do. Oh, we have our ups and downs, our major victories and our crushing defeats from time to time and some of them might even make interesting blog posts, but that really brings us to the second reason I don't blog about our home school. Reason Two is Sam. He really doesn't want to have his life chronicled on a blog for all to see. I don't blame him.

When I started blogging I promised my boys (my husband included) that I'd give them editorial privileges. That means I ask permission to blog about them and I give them a chance to read the draft before I post it up. We all like it that way. They never have to worry about what I'm going to blab about next.

The dogs, on the other hand, are another thing altogether. They have no awareness of the fact that I blog about them frequently. They have no editorial privileges. And they present me with goofy doggy antics every single day. (an allusion to Spurgeon: if you knew all the mischievous doggy antics I think about posting but never actually do, you would offer me hearty congratulations for my restraint. ) My eldest son, John, lives in Ohio and he enjoys the doggy posts. In his words, "I can still enjoy them 2 states away!" For him it's just a peek into what is going on at home.

So if the doggy stories aren't your cup of tea, that's OK. I understand. But I snapped a couple of really good pictures of Sam and Ivy this morning so, watch out! You might not like the next post!

God's Minute 1/26

January 26

Bless thou the Lord, O my soul.--Psalm 104:35

OUR HEAVENLY Father, we are Thy children, and we come to Thee, bringing our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. Thou hast made us, and Thy love of us is unceasing. Thy love is the light of our life and Thy grace the strength of our hearts. Save us from forgetting Thee and Thy claims upon us. May we welcome our common duties and discharge them as in Thy sight; rejoice in the ties of kinship which bind us to one another, and never forget them; courageously face our difficulties and carefully redeem the time, seeing that the days are evil. Help us to resist every temptation and especially those that assail our thoughts and stain our imagination. Give us power to hush the tumults of the flesh, and fortitude to bear the burdens of life cheerfully. Deliver us from anxiety about the future, and strengthen in us the conviction that all things work together for good to those that love Thee. Enable us to profit by Thy patient and loving discipline. Fill us with the mind of Jesus, and make us ready for any sacrifice for Thy Kingdom of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Quicken us, O Lord, that we may seek first Thy Kingdom and Thy righteousness, and calmly wait Thy will, in the assurance that whatever else is best will be given us. In the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.


John Clifford, D.D.,
London, England

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Teaching an old dog new tricks

Come on, Eve. Don't walk away! Play with us!

I'll show you. First, you get ready.

Then you catch it and run real fast.

Then you bring it back to Dad.

OK. Your turn. Not yet? Let's go through this again.

Watch and learn. Hey! Where'd she go?

(4 x 4)+4

Four Jobs You’ve Had:

Dental Chairside Assistant
Preschool Teacher
Home school teacher PreK-9th grade

Four Places You’ve Lived:

Ashland, OH
Glasgow, KY
Lancaster, PA
Brunswick, OH

Four Vacations You've Taken:

Fort Morgan Beach, Alabama
North Woods Wisconsin—Big Crooked Lake

Four Vehicles You’ve Owned:

Toyota Corolla
Fiat 124 Sport Coupe
Olds ‘98
Toyota Camry

Four Blogs You Visit & Want to Tag:


God's Minute 1/25

January 25

The righteousness which is of faith.--Romans 9:30

HOLY FATHER, we thank Thee for the sweetness and goodness of Thy love. Thou hast sheltered our home, daily bearing our burdens, carrying our sorrows, and supplying all our needs.

We thank Thee for Jesus our Saviour, for the Holy Bible, and for the Church. We praise Thy Name for the Gospel, and for all who are making known the goodness of salvation.

We pray that Christian brethren may dwell together in unity, and put on love which is the bond of perfectness. May Thy righteous and peaceful Kingdom come, till all men everywhere may hear and know of Jesus, and learn to live as He lived, and love as He loved.

Teach us to be kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving. Give to us patience, meekness, gentleness, goodness, faith. May we have the blessedness of the pure in heart, and of the merciful. Fill us with the light of Thy presence, and lead us forth to do good unto all men. Keep Thou our going out and our coming in, from this time forth, and for evermore. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Rev. Robert E. Elmore,
Cincinnati, Ohio

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Prayer List for the Church

Rebecca, over at Rebecca Writes, has hit another home run , this time with the help of her readers. Even though I suspect that most of my readers were sent here by Rebecca in the first place, *grin* I still want to link to one of her current posts regarding how we can best pray for our churches, and by extension our Pastors and each other.

If you haven't already, take a few minutes to check out her post. Copy and paste it into a document, print it out, and tuck it into your Bible like I have. And don't forget to pray.

God's Minute

January 24

He ever liveth to make intercession for them.--Hebrews 7:25

GRACIOUS GOD, our Father in Heaven, we bless Thee that hour by hour our lives have been enriched with the knowledge of Him who graciously interpreted the Infinite to our minds, and Who in reconciling love and saving mercy, brought us near to our Father in Heaven.

Remembering our sinfulness of heart and proneness to sin, we would humble ourselves before Thee. Though, indeed, we have sought to do Thy holy will, yet have we fallen short in many things. We now confess our sins: "forgive us our trespasses."

Once again, we ask that by the Holy Spirit given unto us, we may find our delight in the ways of God, and so be enabled in our daily walk to commend the Gospel of Christ to those among whom we move.

Further, we beseech Thee to hear us on behalf of loved ones far and near, that they may share the blessings which we now ask for ourselves. And may Thy Kingdom come, and Thy will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven.

These and other favors we beg in the Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.


James. W. Thirtle, D.D., LL.D.,
London, England

Monday, January 23, 2006

Jingle, Jingle, Jingle

Most days I really like the fact that we trained Ivy to ring a bell to let us know when she needs to go out. But every once in a while, after several days of rain or snow, she starts to play the "in and out" game. Jingle, jingle, jingle. Every 10 minutes. Or less. All day long. She rings the bell to go out and she (loudly) sticks her nose through the mail slot and snorts to come back in. (We didn't teach her that one. . .)

Today is one of those days. Eve is very happy to play along. She hasn't started ringing the bell, but she thinks if Ivy has been in and out (again!) then there must be something very interesting outside that she needs to investigate. Sigh.

So today I am letting dogs out and letting dogs in--over and over. And trying to remind myself that the jingle bell on the front door really WAS a good idea.


I've had plenty of opportunities to try to capture Ivy ringing the bell because she's still at it! I finally gave up trying to capture it with the camera so here are three pictures taken from a video. The quality isn't real good because there wasn't quite enough light, but you'll get the idea. And yes, I spent WAY too much time fooling around with this today. You know what they say: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

God's Minute

January 23

Blessed is the man that maketh the Lord his trust.--Psalm 40:4

ALMIGHTY GOD, our Father, we come to Thee in the early morning hour to give thanks for that loving care which has kept us during the night, to renew our strength, and to seek preparation for the work and responsibilities of the new day. In our blindness we cannot see what is before us, but Thou knowest; so we place our hands in Thine, that we may be led in a way that will glorify Thee, and make better and more fruitful our own lives. Share Thy richest morning blessings with our dear ones wherever they may be, and put about them Thy everlasting arms. Graciously manifest Thyself to the needy and distressed, to the sick and dying, and to all who look for salvation from sin. May the Holy Spirit of promise and power minifest Himself to all hearts and homes, and thus energize and make effective the agencies ordained for the saving of the whole world. Pardon our sins. May great peace fill our souls, enabling us to constantly walk in the quiet of Thy presence. At the close of the day may we possess consciences void of offense toward Thee, and toward all men, and realize that we have made another day's journey toward the heavenly home. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive riches, and wisdom, and glory, and dominion, forever and ever.


Bishop William H. Weekley, D.D.,
Parkersburg, West Virginia

Sunday, January 22, 2006

God's Minute

January 22

"Wherefore, come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.--2 Cor. 6:17,18

OUR Father, help us to be true today; help us to be faithful; help us to be kind. May Thy presence go with us and watch over us so that no evil may surprise us. Keep us from falling, keep us from stumbling. If temptation assails us, may we be given strength to resist it; if trouble awaits us, may we go forth courageously to meet it and may Thy grace be sufficient for us in the hour of our need.

Especially we pray Thee that sin may have no dominion over us; save us from becoming hardened by its deceitfulness, or softened by its false soothing flattery.

Make us generous in our judgments, tender-hearted in our feelings, sweet spirited and loving in all our dealings. Preserve us from being impatient and irritable.

Implant within our hearts a genuine hatred for every form of defilement, and a sincere love for what is pure and Christ-like. Whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, may we think on these things today. For Christ's sake.


Malcom James MacLeod, D.D.,
New York City, New York

Saturday, January 21, 2006

God's Minute

January 21

Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory upon their children. And let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us.--Psalm 90:16,17

LORD GOD, our heavenly Father, we Thy children come before Thee to thank Thee and to praise Thee. We thank Thee for the gift of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and that Thou hast kindled faith and love in our hearts through Thy Holy Spirit. We thank Thee for peace of soul through the forgiveness of our sins and for the blessed hope of eternal life. We thank Thee also for the opportunity to labor in our earthly calling and thereby to render service to Thee, to our dear ones, and to our fellowmen in general.

Bless us, heavenly Father, as individuals, that we may have the strength always to do our duty as it is made clear to us. Bless us as a nation, a Christian people, that the high hopes placed in us by peoples in distress may not be shattered. Bless Thy Church that it may have the power always to witness for Christ wherever we go, and help us gladly to share our temporal blessings with those who are in physical want. Lead us through the hours of the day, and watch over us through the night. And when Thou art done with us here on earth, take us to Thyself in glory. We ask it in the name of Jesus, our blessed Redeemer.


Carl J. Bengston, D.D.,
Rock Island, Illinois

Friday, January 20, 2006

It's Snowing!

For to the snow He says, 'Fall on the earth.'

What is "God's Minute"?

In the comments below, Karen asked about the God's Minute prayers that I post every day.

On the first day I began posting them I explained that the prayers come from a book that my grandparents gave to me when I got married. For years they had kept in on their kitchen table and my grandfather had read from it every morning at breakfast. It sits just to the right of my computer monitor now. It means a great deal to me and since it is now out of print and in the public domain, I decided to post them up on the blog.

(If you click on the picture you can see it in more detail; click twice and you can read it!)

This little book is nearly worn out. I don't know for sure how long they had it, but I've had it since '78. As you can see from the picture, several sections have come loose. From time to time I will run across some penciled underlining. I wonder what must have been going on in my grandparents' lives to have made that particular prayer or phrase stand out on that particular day.

My grandparents left us with a wonderful example: an abiding faith in Christ and an abiding love for each other.

There are three words on their headstone: Thank you, God.

God's Minute

January 20

Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us.--Ephesians 5:2

WE thank Thee, O God our Heavenly Father, for all of life's blessings. All we have comes from Thee, and all we do is by the strength Thou dost give us. Help us to love Thee with all our heart, and serve Thee with all our strength.

We bring our family to Thee, with all its members, in whatever place or condistion they may be, for Thy gracious care. If some are sick, or troubled, or tempted, be to them a great physician, a comforting friend, a might Saviour.

Bless our daily occupations, and, if it please Thee, make our way prosperous. If adversity be better for us, make us patient and faithful in trial. Help us in all our perplexities to know Thy will, and make us ever ready to do what Thou desirest. Make us a blessing in our church, and make our church a blessing to others. May Thy Word be a light unto our path, and a lamp to guide all who are in any darkness. Bless the work of this day, fit us for its duties and responsibilities, overrule all our mistakes, and pardon all our sins. We come to Thee as children to a dear Father, asking these and other things we need, for Jesus' sake.


S.S. Waltz, D.D.,
Louisville, Kentucky

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bible Memorization

Karen of Sower's Corner and Marlene of Home Maker have been discussing the topic of Bible Memorization. I started to add some thoughts in the comments about what really helps me and soon saw that my comments were taking on a blog post life of their own, so I decided to post them up here.

I agree with, believe in, and have benefited spiritually from memorizing scripture. Without a doubt. But, at least for me, the way it really "stuck" in my mind was to memorize the Shorter Catechism with at least one scripture reference. That has done more for me than anything else in being able, not only to remember scripture, but to apply it as well.

My son and I memorized the Shorter catechism over about a two year period several years ago and I can still remember most of it and the scriptures that go along with it. But the really cool thing is the way it pops into my head when I am reading and studying a Christian book, listening to a sermon, or reading my Bible. I can be cruising along in Hebrews and when I get to Hebrews 2:17, my mind immediately goes to the idea of Christ being our Prophet, Priest and King, in this instance our High Priest.

Heb. 2:17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.

Now, to be sure, the verse is explicit in saying that He is our faithful High Priest and you don’t have to memorize Question and Answer 25 to see that in the passage, but if you DO memorize the Q and A then your mind will “flesh it out a bit”:

Q25: How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?

A25: Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God; and in making continual intercession for us.

Now we’re getting somewhere! Not only do you have the benefit of seeing again that the writer of Hebrews is presenting Christ as our faithful High Priest, you also rehearse in your mind what it means that Christ is our High Priest. You can thrill again in the understanding that not only did He give Himself a sacrifice for many but He is the One who offers that sacrifice up in our place. And that offering up satisfies God and reconciles us to Him, but because he is the Eternal High Priest, He is making continual intercession on our behalf!

You may be thinking, “Hey, wait a minute! Why memorize the words of men? Isn’t that putting the Catechism before the Scripture? No. It really isn’t. Think of the Catechism as a scaffolding upon which you will construct not only your scripture memorization but also your scriptural understanding. It is an organized way of building precept upon precept. The questions and answers form the "bones" upon which you'll apply the "flesh" which is the Scripture and then the "ligaments and tendons" are the theology and doctrines that connect them all together into a functioning system or "body".

If you are interested in this method (called catechism) or if you're just curious about the Shorter Catechism, here are some links:

The Shorter Catechism (Reformed/Presbyterian)
The Shorter Catechism (Baptist)

And if you are interested in a great study guide, check out G.I. Williamson's The Shorter Catechism Volumes 1 and 2.

(In the comments, Karen also recommends another good book: Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life "His main thrust is that all discipline is for the purpose of godliness.")


Doug, of Godward Thoughts, has posted some thoughts about being systematic in our study of God’s Word on his blog. Here's an exerpt:

I do realize that some neglect the scriptures for all these other books and that is wrong, but we should utilize what the Lord has given us through men and women who have been given the gift of teaching.

And of course there is Spurgeon who said…

The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains, proves that he has no brains of his own.’

God's Minute

January 19

And which of you with taking thought can add to His stature one cubit? If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? Consider the lilies how they grow; they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, tha Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will He clothe you, O ye of little faith?--Luke 12:25-28

O GOD, Who knowest our necessities before we ask, and the manifold temptations we meet with day by day, help us to put our whole trust in Thee when despair and misgivings assail us. Suffer us not, we beseech Thee, to become the prey of useless forebodings, nor to lose the things which belong to our peace, through the habit of morbid and sinful worry. So guide us, in all our way, that we may keep our faces always toward the light, that our shadows may lie behind us. Of Thy great mercy enable us to perceive our blessings, that we may always serve Thee with a glad heart and quiet mind, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Bishop Charles E. Woodcock, D.D., LL.D.,
Louisville, Kentucky

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

In another life

In another life, or so it almost seems, I was a preschool teacher. It's been so long ago now that I seem to have almost forgotton that fact. Until I come across something like this:

This little guy's name is Myron. He would be a junior in high school now.

I remember Myron because he had a special name for me: Mz. Shemboogey. With a last name like Shenberger I've heard it all--Mrs. Hamburger, Mrs. Cheeseburger, Mrs. Shoeberger, but my favorite was Mz. Shemboogey.

Search lines

I've never blogged about my search lines before but this morning's were just too good.

1. rebecca writes snickerdoodles

2. teakettle boiled dry copper

(I feel great sympathy for whoever must have boiled his/her copper teakettle dry. . .because of this I shall refrain from calling him/her a cotton headed ninny muggins.)


Todays Dictionary.com word of the day:

quondam \KWAHN-duhm; KWAHN-dam\, adjective:
Having been formerly; former; sometime.

Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? Galatians 4:8-9

As quondam slaves to the weak and elementary things of this world, let us reflect today upon Peter's words:

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

God's Minute

January 18

Let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice.--Psalm 5:11

OUR Heavenly Father, we bow in Thy presence in child-like confidence, knowing that Thou art able and willing to hear our supplication, and graciously answer our prayer for Thy guidance during this day, which will be day of opportunity, of blessing, of responsibility, and of testing. Grant us as a family Thy benediction and the special direction of the Holy Spirit, so that in all our ways we may acknowledge Thee, and all our undertakings and in the performance of our tasks we may please Thee, and worthily represent Thee. Bless us individually and collectively, and make us a blessing to all over whom we shall have the opportunity of wielding an influence today. May the meditation of our hearts and the utterances of our lips be acceptable in Thy sight, and may the gracious promise be fulfilled on our behalf: "As thy day, so shall thy strength be." Since each day hath its own particular temptations and trials, may we be able this day to cope with all our adversaries and successfully conquer them, leaving our impress for good on all with whom we may come in contact. May we realize this day, as never before, the truthfulness of the promise: "The path of the just is as a shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." In Jesus' name we ask it.


Rev. W.H. Bucks,
Cleveland, Ohio

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Eve Shield

Eve is a snuggler. A persistant snuggler. Poor Sam was trying to sit on the couch and read. Ivy is perched very sweetly on mom's end of the couch. Eve insisted on snuggling with Sam, which includes a fair amount of nudging for pets, loving stares, and sneaky kisses on the cheek. Eve does not like to be ignored. It hurts her doggy feelings and so she is persistant. . .

Here's how Sam decided to manage the situation: The Eve Shield

Eve's pretty sure that if she tries real hard she can wear him down by staring a hole through the pillow. Silly girl.