Friday, March 31, 2006

God's Minute 3/31

Deliver me, for I do not forget Thy law.--Psalm 119:153

OUR Heavenly Father, with gratitude and confidence we bow together before Thee this morning after the rest of the night. We face the day, with its untried experiences, in courage and hope, claiming Thy promise, "I will in no wise fail thee nor forsake thee." We humbly place ourselves at Thy merciful disposal; forgive us, protect us, guide us, use us, and keep us in the thought ofThee all the day. Reveal Thyself to them that are dear to us, and lead them in to Thy peace. Those who are in any temptation, deliver; or in any sorrow or affliction, sustain and comfort; supply every need of theirs, according to Thy riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Give our rulers, we beseech Thee, wisdom and power to administer righteous government; save us from the covetous and proud; unite our people in the bonds of love, constraining them to justice, and mercy, and pity, that those who have may help those who have not, that oppression and poverty may cease from among us. And may we as a nation understand and fulfil our mission to the world.

Spread abroad everywhere the knowledge of Thy salvation, and bring in speedily the day of Jesus Christ, in Whose Name we ask all.


Rev. George Wells Ely
Columbia, Pennsylvania

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

52 things

52 Things About Me (first seen at the Upward Call but I expect to be seeing it again soon!) If that was too subtle of a hint, then Please Play along and leave me your link in the comments. I'll move it up front and we'll all have fun!

1. FIRST NAME? Kim - not Kimberly, just Kim. (Me, too, Kim)

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Not my first name, but my middle name is a derivative of my paternal grandmother's name.

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Last night.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes. That's not to say it's neat and tidy, but it's mine and I like it.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Braunschweiger. On fresh bread with yellow mustard.

6. KIDS? 3 boys and two ornery ones in red fur suits.

7. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes. Then I'd have someone with whom to talk about theology.

8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Does a blog count?



11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Never in a million years. I am not a thrill seeker. I have to plan ahead to be spontaneous.

12. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Steel cut oatmeal


14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Mentally, not physically.


16. SHOE SIZE? 7 1/2.

17. RED OR PINK? Red.

18. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I think too much and I have a hard time letting things go.

19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Permanently? My Dad. Friends? Anna, Cheri, and Anne-Marie.

20. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? I'd love anyone who wants to do this to put it up and send me a link.

21. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES YOU ARE WEARING? Blue jeans and white socks.

22. LAST THING YOU ATE? Irish Potatoe Cabbage Bacon Soup.

23. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The printer spewing out church bulletins.


25. FAVORITE SMELL? Tom's aftershave.


27. FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Whether or not they look me in the eye when I speak to them. (I'm not sure if I would have thought of this on my own, but I do notice this and it matters to me.)

28. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? She didn't send it to me; I saw it on her blog, and I love her. (Another I can copy directly from Kim.)


30. FAVORITE SPORT? Fast Pitch Softball

31. HAIR COLOR? You want the real one or the one I pay to have done? (Another one I can copy directly from Kim. My niece once asked, "Aunt Kim, what is your real haircolor?" I answered, "I have no idea.")

32. EYE COLOR? Green.

33. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No. Bifocals.

34. FAVORITE FOOD? My favorite food group is sour cream and cream cheese, how's that?


36. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Napolean Dynomite.


38. SUMMER OR WINTER? Fall, definitely fall.


40. FAVORITE DESSERT? My mom's chocolate cake with mocha frosting, made from scratch.

41. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I have no idea. Maybe we can talk MissM into answering in the comments. What do you say?

42. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? I have no idea.

43. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Les Miserables, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones series on Ephesians, The Bible Panorama, Berkhof's Systematic Theology, and always Jonathan Edwards.

44. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Don't have one. I use a wireless laser mouse.

45. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? American Idol. (Kathryn did NOT belong in the bottom three. Humph.)

46. FAVORITE SOUNDS? a sleeping baby's breathing, coffee brewing, birds singing, I could go on and on.

47. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Definitely Beatles.


49. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? calligraphy.

50. WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? December 23, 1955



Links to other 52 things lists:

Kim at the Upward Call
The Divine Miss M's are posted in the comments.

Amy's are up at Ezekial's Garden. (I don't really think we share the same birthday--year and all! I am too old for 5, 3, and 1 year old boys, but I'd sure like to have some grandsons someday!)

TulipGirl's are up! (Here's that recipe, TG.)

Irish leftovers


Traditional Irish potatoes, cabbage and bacon

Steam red potatoes (in skins) about 5 or 6.
Steam 45 minutes or until fork goes in easily.

Boil ½ head cabbage (rough chopped) until soft but not limp. Try to get it to come out about the same time as the potatoes. Drain well.

Fry ½ to ¾ lb. of bacon until crisp

Chopped scallions (fine) about 2 heaping T.

When potatoes are done, peel and mash with butter and milk until fluffy. (OK to have some skins)

Drain cabbage well and mix by hand into the potatoes along with bacon and scallions.

Serve immediately with a knob of butter in a well in the middle. (Take the spoon end of a wooden spoon and swirl it in the center of the potatoes to form a round well for the butter.)

Fried Colcannon Balls

Leftovers can be made into balls (about the size of a walnut or a little bigger), dredged in egg and then rolled in bread crumbs and fried until golden brown and crisp. Be sure your oil is hot enough before you try to fry or they will fall apart before they can crisp and you'll have to start all over. (The voice of experience speaking.)

These are fabulous. I like them better than the traditional way to serve colcannon.

Irish Potato, Cabbage and Bacon Soup

Fried food just isn't very good for you so you won't want too many fried colcannon balls. You'll probably still have leftover colcannon. If you do, you can make this delicious soup.

In a large soup pan, sautee about 1/3 cup onion in 2 tablespoons of bacon grease until translucent. Add diced potatoes (about 5, about a 1" dice.) Put into pan with onions and add chicken stock to pan, about an inch from the top of the potatoes. (Sorry, I didn't measure anything.) When the potatoes are fork tender, add heavy cream, about 1 cup or so. Then add about a cup and a half of the thawed, leftover colcannon to thicken and a pat of butter. Heat through on low.

Top with crumbled bacon, scallions, and shredded cheddar cheese. Serve with Irish Soda bread.

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Bunnies and Pastels

Oh, I love bunnies. I do. I have them scattered all over my house and they don't just come out at Easter. They are out almost year round. (They get packed away while the Christmas decorations are out.) I never set out to collect them. Really. I didn't. But I have quite a few now and I enjoy every one of them. And, as someone who prefers earth tones, I really love the weeks between St. Patrick's Day and Easter when I can pull out the pastels.

This is my plate rail. I collect plates. I never set out to collect them. Really. I didn't. It's just that I found this really cool plate rail at Hobby Lobby a few years ago and I started changing the plates with every season. I've discovered that there are seasons within seasons and between seasons, so the plates have piled up. Sometimes the plates are layered three deep. That's a lot of plates. (If you click twice on the pictures you can see the details on the eggshaped plates.)

These are my spring curtains. I change the curtains when I change the plates. (One thing leads to another as I tell my very patient husband.) The curtains are simply napkins folded over a curtain rod. Simple to change. And so napkins are piling up, too. Note the cute little bunny hanging on the window by my kitchen sink. My sister-in-law, Susan sneakily bought it while we were out antiquing last weekend and left it with a thank you note. Isn't it cute?

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God's Minute

He forgetteth not the cry of the humble.--Psalm 9:12

OUR Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for the watch care that was over us while we slept, and thath Thou hast brought us in health and strength to see the light of this new day. But we need Thee more in the daylight than we do at midnight. Open our eyes to the opportunities and privileges of this day. As a servant would come to his master in the early morning to receive directions for the day, so we come to Thee, seeking divine guidance. Strengthen our bodies, clear our heads and warm our hearts, that we may live this day in accordance with Thy Holy Will, and that we may do nothing displeasing in Thy sight. Bless us in our home life, that by precept and example we may lead our children in the good and right way, and help us to make the atmoshphere of our households so much like Heaven that it will be the natural thing for them to grow up in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord." Go with us into the larger and outer circles of life's relationships, and everywhere enable us to help and not to hinder. Bless with us all those who cry to Thee for help, and hasten the day when all mankind will join in crowning Christ "Lord of All." We offer our thanksgivings and render our petitions in the Name of Jesus.


Forney Hutchinson, D.D.,
Little Rock, Arkansas

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

God's Minute

Whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions.--1 John 5:15

SHELTERED as we are in the peace of our own home, we pray today for the homeless and the lonely. The wayward souls who hve broken away and are wandering restless and unsatisfied, may their hearts be turned again towards their father's house. The children, orphaned and dependent, who miss a mother's comforting touch and her good-night kiss, may they have a compensation in tender friendliness. The men and woment in great cities, workers with hand or brain, separated by distance from their families; may they escape or overcome the temptations that surround them. The selfish and the cruel who have wrecked their own and others' happiness; may they be changed to a better mind. For all to whom home is only a dream, or a regret, or to whom it means remorse; we pray, O Thou God of infinite compassion, that to each may come a message from Thy love that shall be an impulse to a new and higher life. It is Thy will that we be carriers of such messages! Then fit us for this service by a broader sympathy and a readier helpfulness.

This we ask in the Name of Christ.


Rev. A.J. Bonsall, Litt. D.,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Playing around

The Universal Penman
An engraving of an instructional text by W. Kippax

taken from The Art of Calligraphy by David Harris

I've been playing around a little with my new pen. Pointed pens are really hard to manage and I've never been very good at copperplate letters, but to my surprise, this old pen still writes as smooth as silk. The shaft is wooden and marked "Made in Poland" on the back with a steel nib labled "Copernicus Varsovie." So far, my attempts to learn more about the pen have come up empty, but I'm going to keep trying.

And I think I'll give Copperplate another try.

A very amateur attempt at a simple copperplate hand. Definitely needs work, but the pen is fantastic and makes me think I can do it!


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To the Divine Miss M

Most of you are probably thinking Bette Midler. Up until a few months ago, I would've thought the same thing.

But now when I think of "the Divine Miss M" I think of my friend from Australia, who goes by the name Missmellifluous in the blog world. I didn't know her name for the longest time so I thought of her as the Divine Miss M and addressed her as MissM.

Since then I've learned not only her name but a few things about her. She loves art, she loves poetry, she is an accomplished writer, and an affectionate, loving mother. She cares.

I learned this morning that she has given up blogging. I read her reasons; can't argue with them. I have toyed with the idea myself, as recently as yesterday morning. I hope that if I do ever know for certain that I should give it up that I can do it like she did. Delete blog. Boom. Over. I'm not sure I'm that brave.

Anyway, I said all that to say this to you, the Divine Miss M, I will miss your blog and I hope I will not lose contact with you. I've enjoyed getting to know you and praying for you and being challenged by your intellect and blessed by your kindness. You know how to stay in touch. As long as my blog is up and running, you can find me here. Or you can find my email in my profile.

Take care, friend.

Tuesday's Treasures

I've shared some of Sam's artwork before on my blog. His artwork, whether it was from his toddler days or this week, is a treasure to me. I have a folder full of special pieces he has drawn over the years and sometimes I'll come across something from years ago in a book or a drawer. They never fail to make me smile.

Here are two pictures of an elephant he drew in charcoal when he was 10. It hangs in his room in this house, but I had it hanging in the hallway to the kitchen in our last house. I miss seeing it everyday and I always love seeing it when I go into his room. I hope you'll enjoy seeing it as much as I do!

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God's MInute 3/28

Let those that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee.--Psalm 70:4

OUR FATHER in Heaven: we come to Thee with our deepest gratitude and love. Thou hast been a kind Father and a faithful Friend. We thank Thee for daily provision, for care and guidance and help in business affairs and in our home, for those "common mercies" which come to us so regularly that we get to receiving them thoughtlessly and we forget who gives them to us. Most of all, we thank Thee that Thou dost love us, that Thy pity and compassion are never withheld from us, that this day and every day Thy "goodness flows around our incompleteness, round our restless feet Thy rest." In Thy mercy forgive us. We are so weak and sin so easily that we must daily cast ourselves upon Thy strength and daily renew our prayer for pardon. Make us strong to resist sin and to overcome every temptation. All through this day may we be true to all that is pure and holy and Christ-like. May Thy Kingdom come! Cheer our hearts with new displays of Thy saving power, with signs and wonders as of old time, with new miracles of conversion and sanctification. We long to see Christ recognized and honored by men and by society. Heal our friends who are sick. Comfort all who are in sorrow. Where heavy burdens are to be borne, give the courage and the strength to bear them. And keep us all in the love of Jesus, and in conscious fellowship with Thee. Through Christ, our Lord.


W.I. Wishart, D.D.,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Monday, March 27, 2006

What would we do without Rebecca?

Rebecca, of Rebecca Writes, has done it again; not only are her theological posts challenging and educating, her series about whatever interests her at the moment are a gold mine of information--whether it is one of her famous lists, her photos in and around her home, or her quirky informative forays into animal husbandry and folklore.

Right now, Rebecca is compiling an awesome list of blogging tips and tools. Her erudite and technically saavy readers are contributing to a mighty list of resources. Go check it out. And when you're done, if you aren't off colorizing your blog or setting up technorati tags check out her Master List, Pigeonholes. You'll find enough interesting fare to keep you busy for a long time!

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High School in a Whole Different Millennium

It's Get Real Monday. Here is my contribution to Randi's request for high school pictures.

I had to go to my yearbooks to find pictures of myself in high school! I don't have very many pictures of me before I was married--my mom still has them, I think--I hope!!

Here's a picture of me and my future husband, Tom. We had been dating about 6 months at that point; can you see the stars in my eyes?

This is me in our school play, Inherit the Wind, my sophomore year.

When I think of how easy it was to scan, crop, and upload these pictures from my yearbook with today's technology, I had to laugh when I found this picture of myself croping with the old red plastic tool and the black grease paint pen.

Check out the bell bottoms.

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God's MInute 3/27

I was brought low and He helped me.--Psalm 31:23

WE thank Thee, O God, that we can call Thee Father, for no parent ever loves as deeply as Thou. We acknowledge with sorrow that we have grieved Thee time and again, for even when we would do good, evil is present. But, praise God, when we sincerely confess our sins, Thou art faithful to forgive.

We thank Thee for the daily blessings of life, seen and unseen. We thank Thee that Thou art mindful of us when we least think, and dost tenderly care for us. We pray Thee to write over the door of our home, "Peace be unto this household." Help us daily to create such an atmosphere in our home as will the better tend to bring all up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Keep us from temptation. Make us happy and blessed Christians, and help us in all we do, think, and say, that we may prove a blessing unto others.

When sorrow comes into our lives, may we yet praise God and trust Him. And if we should be imprisoned in grief, may the hand of God open for us the iron gate, as when Peter was liberated. And when our work is finished, take us to Thyself in Heaven, for Jesus' sake.


L.M. Zimmerman, D.D.,
Baltimore, Maryland

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Yesterday's catch

Tom's sister and brother-in-law are here visiting with us for the weekend. Yesterday we went antiquing here in town and after lunch we took off for Walworth, Wisconsin. There's a great Antique Mall in Walworth! If you live near Walworth and like antiques, plan a trip soon! You could spend hours there and never see it all!

Here are my two "catches" from yesterday's antiques fishing trip.

Today we're off to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for lunch at Popeye's and more shopping.

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God's MInute

Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift.--2 Corinthians 9:15.

OUR FATHER, we offer Thee thanks for the morning light and for all Thy goodness. We confess our faults and failures and sins, and ask Thy pardon. Give us a right judgment, that we may see what Thou wouldst have us do; a ready will, that we may do our duty with all our might; and the help of Thy Spirit, that we may be enabled this day to live according to Thy will.

Look with pity upon all who are in any need or trouble, and come and help them. Strengthen the weak, succor those who are tempted, lift up the fallen, lighten the darkness of them that doubt, give patience to all who suffer, and to them who are disheartended give courage and new interest in life.

Bless our country, and grant that righteousness, peace and good will may prevail among all nations. Bless Thy Church throughout the world, especially Thy servants who have gone forth to preach Thy Gospel in distant lands. Take under Thy fatherly care and protection all who are near and dear to us; do more and better for them that we can ask or think, and grant that we and they may this day enter more and more into Thy joy and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Bishop Chancey B. Brewster, D.D.,
Hartford, Connecticut

Saturday, March 25, 2006

God's Minute 3/25

The prayer of faith shall save.--James 5:15

O LORD, increase our faith. By it may we be enabled to remove mountains of difficulty from our way. May it be our shield with which to quench the darts of temptation. May it steady and encourage us as we endeavor to form our plans and assume our duties and responsibilities in accord with Thy will. May it deliver us from frearful anxiety respecting our own welfare, and that our our loved ones whom we commit to Thy care. May it incline us to be forgiving and patient and considerate and sypmpathetic. May it prompt us to gracious and kindly words and deeds. May it save us from being too much gratified by praise, and from being too much cast down by blame. May it lend zest to the day's toil, and quicken us to renewed energy and fidelity in our work. May it impel us to humility and gratitude when we are granted prosperity and happiness, and may it preserve us against bitterness and gloom of spirit if want and sorrow become our portion. May it strengthen our hold upon possessions that abide, and be unto us the evidence of things not seen, and the substance of things hoped for. May it assure us each day, as we fare on our pilgrimage, that Thou art nigh, and lead us into the blessed experience of companying with Thee as a man walketh and talketh with a friend.


Harry P. Dewey, D.D.,
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Friday, March 24, 2006

God's Minute 3/24

I will give thanks unto Thee forever.--Psalm 30:12

ETERNAL FATHER, help us to think wise thoughts, to speak kind words, and to do good deeds through all the hours of this new day of our lives. Help us to see things as they are, and also as they ought to be. We would have a hand in making the world a better place in which to live, and, as the nearer duties are the most pressing, we would begin at home. To the beloved beings in this household, therefore, we will consecrate our ability to be cheerful and helpful. Enable us to lift the burdens of the weary, and to bring happiness to the sorrowful about our own fireside, and then as our strength andwisdom are increased, to impart them to others, near and far. How full of the possibilities of usefulness is a single day! How sweet to think that in a single moment of a single hour of this one, we may render some service that will increase the sum of human virtue and happiness! Help us, O Lord, to do it!

Give us a new assurance of Thy love, and a new sense of the dignity and value of life. We pray Thee that we may be able to say, when our call comes, "Glad did I live and glad do I die, and I lay me down with a will."


Charles Frederic Goss, D.D.,
Cincinnati, Ohio

Thursday, March 23, 2006

An Easy "I need to blog" fix

Your English Skills:

Grammar: 100%

Punctuation: 100%

Vocabulary: 100%

Spelling: 80%

Does Your English Cut the Mustard?

If that's the case, then why to I have to go back an correct my posts all the time? Hmmm?

By the way, how do you spell misspell/mispell?

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Check it out!

[UPDATE] Three new songs uploaded today and another one on it's way this afternoon! 3/24


Our dear, dear friend, Chad, is getting ready to release his first CD. Chad is a singer/songwriter and our family has been so blessed by his friendship as well as his many talents. He is a godly, growing young man, who is sensitive to God's work in his life and who desires above all things to worship in spirit and in truth. He has several of his demos uploaded on his website. I think if you listen, you'll hear the heart of a man who loves God and longs to glorify Him in His life.

So, check it out! You'll be glad you did!

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God's Minute 3/23

They shall prosper that love Thee--Psalm 122:8

OUR Heavenly Father, we would humbly bow before Thee and in acknowledgment of Thy goodness woud confess Thee to be our God. We thank Thee for Thy manifold mercies and continued love and care to us, so unworthy of any of Thy blessings.

We confess our sins, and pray that for the sake of Christ Thou wouldst forgive us and help us to so live that everywhere we may carry the Spirit and the life of the Master with us. Grant that we may have that purity of heart by which we may be always able to see Thee.

May we see our opportunitites every day, and help us to use them that we may best minister to our fellow men, and bring glory to Thy great and Holy Name. Lead us day by day. May we obediently follow Thee, lovingly doing Thy will, and seek so to express the love of Christ that others will be led to accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord, while Thy believing followers may the better be established in the faith. Be gracious to all in sadness and difficulty. Help them to fully trust in Thee, and realize ever Thy presence with them.

We ask this all in the name of Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Saviour.


I.G. Bowles, B.A., B.D.,

North Bay, Ontario, Canada

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

God's Minute 3/22

The Lord is the strength of my life.--Psalm 27:1

OUR Gracious Father in Heaven, we accept with thankful hearts this most wonderful priviledge of entering into Thy presence through prayer. A new day stretches out before us, and we know not what shall befall us ere we come to its close. How greatly do we need a strength that is more than human. We find ourselves insufficient for the tasks of the day. Our vision is so narrow, our judgment so faulty, our wisdom so incomplete. We are becoming more and more conscious of our shortcomings and our failures, and if we recognize them, how grieveous must they appear in Thy sight. Forgive us and help us, we pray. Teadh us that we are most strong when in weakness we throw ourselves upon Thee. Teach us that to lose self is to gain power and influence. Help us today to be good witnesses for Jesus Christ. May our lives ring true. May our conduct be in strict accord with the profession we make. May it be easier for others to do right today, because we are in the world. Make us strong in the hour of temptation, and give us grace for every trying situation that may arise. This petition we humbly offer through Jesus Christ Our Lord.


William S. Abernathy, D.D.,
Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Hit Parade

Oh, this is fun.

What was the number one song on the day you were born?

1955 ... "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford

Sixteen tons on a dead man's chest? No, no, that's not right. . .Sixteen tons and what do you get? Another year older and deeper in debt.

Well, I'm definitely getting older!

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An Aubade

An Aubade from The Shining Pathway
by Rev. Lawrence Keister

Six O'Clock

There's something fine in the new sunshine,
At six o'clock in the morning;
When you are blest with a good night's rest,
At six o'clock in the morning.

Begin the day in the good old way,
At six o'clock in the morning;
Address the Lord as you read His Word,
At six o'clock in the morning.

Take time to sit and think a bit,
At six o'clock in the morning;
Gird up your mind with the truth you find,
At six o'clock in the morning.

You find great gain for your heart and brain,
At six o'clock in the morning;
If you arise with the good and the wise
At six o'clock in the morning.

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aubade \oh-BAHD\, noun:
A song or poem greeting the dawn; also, a composition suggestive of morning.

He was usually still awake when the birds began to warble their aubade.
-- Christopher Buckley, "What was Robert Benchley?," National Review, June 16, 1997

And there he lingered till the crowing cock...
Sang his aubade with lusty voice and clear.
-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Emma and Eginhard

Oh, don't you just love this word? It's a new one for me (I love new words!) Maybe it doesn't do anything for all of you night owls out there, but for a morning person like me, it's fun to have a new word for the delightful song of morning birds and coffee brewing, toast popping and newspapers rattling.

I love morning.

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God's Minute 3/21

The Lord preserveth the faithful.--Psalm 31:23

ALMIGHTY and Most Merciful One, we humble ourselves before Thee and adore Thy power as well as Thy love; Thy bounty, as well as Thy compassion; Thy sovereign providence as well as Thy forgiving mercy. Lord, give to us--Thou knowest better what to give than we to ask. Direct graciously all the affairs of each of us this day; be in the performance of the household duties and sanctify our home life; go out with those who go out to the business of life this day, and prosper their labors and their plans. Find some blessed helpfulness for each of us today, and let us also find it. Encompass in like manner with Thy gracious providence all our loved ones, in their homes, in preparation for life work, in their daily avocations, in their accustomed places or on a journey, in sickness or in health. Lift our eyes above the narrow little circle of our own horizon in life, to the great work of God, and to the Kingdom of God, of which we are a part. Lord, humble us to the dust. Guard and guide our ways this day, that we may go to meet temptation "led of the Spirit," and so shall "find the way of escape" and go safely forward in the way of faith and hope and loving service of Thee. In Jesus' Name.


Melvin Grove Kyle, D.D., LL. D.,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Hanging out in the slow lane

I'm going to be hanging out in the slow lane for a couple of days.

The wedding invitations are here, the lists are complete and the time is now. Time to get the invitations addressed, stamped and mailed, so I'll be working at my drawing table most of this week.

The God's Minute prayers will continue, but the blogging could be a little sparse over then next week. I'll have a quiz, no really more like a survey or poll to go along with the Dürer landscape question later on in the week. If anything "important" comes up you might see something, but more than likely it will be a slow week at Hiraeth.

Dürer Landscape

In lieu of my final post on Albrecht Dürer, which has been researched and outlined but still not written, I am posting these watercolors of The Courtyard of the Former Castle of Innsbruck.

You will notice that the landscapes have been painted from a different perspective and presumably on different days.

Courtyard of the Former Castle of Innsbruck without Clouds 1494

Notes from the Web Gallery of Art:

This watercolour, together with another view of a castle courtyard in the Tirol, was presumably created during Dürer's first Italian journey in about 1494. The location of the castle is still disputed. Together with the other sheet, we have two differing views of the same castle courtyard. They show an extended courtyard with various Gothic castle buildings grouped around it. The bay-like staircase on the left is at its front side opposite the gate tower from which the second view of the courtyard was produced.

Courtyard of the Former Castle of Innsbruck with Clouds 1494

Notes from the Web Gallery of Art:

The picture shows a second variation of the castle courtyard in the Tirol, with clouds. The courtyard of the Gothic building is seen from a different side than in the first view. Here Dürer chose the balcony in the gate tower as his viewpoint, while in the first sheet a window in the opposite transverse wing was his starting point. There is still some uncertainty in his application of perspective here. However, the variety of forms of the Late Gothic buildings are recorded in detail.

I am curious to learn which landscape you prefer, with or without clouds. If you would, please leave me a note about your preference in the comments.

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God's Minute 3/20

Thy face, Lord, will I seek.--Psalm 27:8

HEAVENLY FATHER, before entering fully upon the duties of this new day, we would bow before Thee and join our hearts and our voices in prayer. We pray Thee, that we may be truly conscious of Thy presence with us as we begin this day.

Help us to know, in all the work of this day, that the still small voice that speaks within us and calls us to the best things, is the voice of God; that the power that tugs at our hearts is the hand of God; and that the light that falls upon our pathway, directing us in the right way, is the light and the love of our Father, God. So may we walk this day with Thee, as Thy Holy Spirit guides us, and as we have been taught by Thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ the Righteous.

We give Thee the love and gratitude of our hearts for all the blessings we enjoy. Take each one of us now, dear Father, into Thy loving care as we go forth to the duties of the day. May our lives be a benediction and blessing to all who need us. Lead us ever, we pray Thee, in the way Thou wouldst have us to go and when the journey is done, gather us all home at last; in the name of Jesus Christ.


Rev. Frank G. Smith
Kansas City, Missouri

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

No time to blog, again

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

OH! NOOooo!!

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Today's reading assignment

A must read. Really. Go read it. Now.

My choice of animal can tell me this?

The Keys to Your Heart

You are attracted to those who are unbridled, untrammeled, and free.

In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.

You'd like to your lover to think you are loyal and faithful... that you'll never change.

You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.

Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future... one you can grow with.

Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.

You think of marriage as something precious. You'll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.

In this moment, you think of love as commitment. Love only works when both people are totally devoted.

Actually, this is very accurate. Except for number 1. What can I say? I like horses.

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Sorry, no pictures

This is where I would post a picture of a fancy car speeding away from paparazzi or a Hollywood star with one hand covering her face and the other warding off the photographer snapping pictures. Centered, large is my usual modis operandi. I like pictures.

I can't do that today because Blogger is having problems. Poor Blogger; my first response when I couldn't get it to work was to complain--Aaarrrggghh! But then I had to remember, Blogger is a free service and one with which I have fun every day. I am thankful for the ability to sit here and blab about whatever is on my mind and heart. And Blogger makes that possible for me and thousands of other Blogger blabbers.

It has also made it possible for me to meet so many wonderful people all over the world. I have my morning coffee with so many of you every day.

So have patience, give thanks, and say a prayer for the folks at Blogger. I'm sure they are under a lot of pressure and not all the comments they are getting are likely to be positive.

Thanks, Blogger.

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God's Minute3/19

Therefore shall the people praise Thee.--Psalm 45:17

ALMIGHTY GOD, Heavenly Father, Who art the light and life of men, we give Thee humble and hearty thanks for all the blessings of Thy merciful Providence; and we commend ourselves this day, and all who are near and dear to us--our family, our friends, our neighbors--to Thy divine care and protection. Give us grace so to live that we shall not be afraid to die. Save us from all dangers of soul and body. Grant us strength for our daily work, sufficiency for our daily needs, and a right judgment in all things.

We pray for our country, that it may be exalted in righteousness; for those who exercise authority, that they may be wise and just; for all our citizens, that they may be faithful to duty and obedient to law; that our land may be a land of liberty and peace, of true religion, of mutual service, acceptable to Thee, our God, and honored throughout the world.

Finally, we beseech Thee, O Father, to protect and encourage those, who, by life and doctrine , and home and abroad, are proclaiming the Gospel of Thy redeeming love. Send out Thy light and Thy truth, that all men everywhere may acknowledgte themselves to be the sons of God, and that Thy Kingdom may be established in all the earth. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Bishop Thomas F. Gailor, D.D.,
Memphis, Tennessee

Saturday, March 18, 2006

God's Minute 3/18

Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin--Psalm 32:5

LORD JESUS, our Redeemer, be Thou ever-present with us today! Thou as the all-seeing Saviour art acquainted with all our ways, nothing is unknown to Thee. Thou knowest how sin endangers our lives day by day. Thou knowest how temptations beset us on all sides. Thou knowest how doubts and misgivings fill our heart with distrust. Thou knowest how the cares of life make us anxious for the morrow and forgetful of Thee and Thy glorious promises.

Lord Jesus, In Thy Mercy help us, and grant us grace to look up in faith to Thee. Give us strength to withstand the many sins and temptations of today, help us to cast aside all our cares, and trust with child-like faith in Thee.

Above all, Lord Jesus, forgive us where we have failed in the past, and let us find in Thee our Saviour, whose Life-blood has reeemed us from sin and death. Give us faith to believe that, unworthy though we be, Thy Blood shed on the cross can save us from every sin.

Fill us, Thy pardoned children, with love to Thee and mankind. Keep us faithful in Thy all-saving Word unto our end. We ask all this of Thee, because Thou art our God and our Redeemer.


Rev. Alfred Doerffler
St. Louis, Missouri

Friday, March 17, 2006

'Tis a Blessing

This little guy was given to me by a friend--I have no idea who it was because it was a secret. So, if you're from Medina or Brunswick, Ohio and you gave this to me right before we moved, thank you. He sits on the shelf in our office year round. He's wearing a badge that says, "'Tis a Blessing to be Irish"

'Tis a Blessing to have good friends, isn't it?

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The Wearing o' the Green

Are you wearing green today?

Éireann go Brách

According to my father

According to my father, there's only one thing worse than being Irish. . .

. . .and that's NOT being Irish!

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St. Patrick, the figure we're celebrating today, is associated with many Irish symbols – the shamrock and the gift of gab, for example. But, alas, he didn't have the luck of the Irish. Born somewhere along the British coastline in 389AD, Patrick was captured by a raiding party when he was 14-years-old, taken to Ireland and sold as a slave. While tending the flocks of a Druid chieftain, Patrick spent much of his time alone and in prayer, strengthening his Christian faith.

After six years of captivity, Patrick escaped, returned home and took up studies for the priesthood. He later returned to Ireland and began a 40-year mission of converting its people. He died on March 17, 461AD.

Legend has it that St. Patrick rid Ireland of snakes. If this is true, it would add one more claim to St. Patrick's fame: Status as one of the world's earliest industrial hygienists. Unfortunately, it's probably not true. According to scientists, there were no snakes in post-glacial Ireland. The whole banishment of serpents legend is thus best understood as an allegory symbolizing St. Patrick's purging Ireland of pagans.

St. Patrick By Catherine Jones

Links are not necessarily related to the sentence at hand; all are links to St. Patrick, from histories to kid's pages.

Also, be sure to check out this from Kim at The Upward Call

Saint Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick's Day is a happy day,

So put your troubles all away

And wear a bit of Irish green

And dance a jig with me.

Come dance a jig with me, colleen;

We'll dance the fastest ever seen.

We'll swing and whirl and be so gay

On this Saint Patrick's Day!

(Image "stolen" from Donna)

God's Minute 3/17

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice.--Psalm 27:7

O LORD, our Lord, how excellent is Thy Name in all the earth. Thou art our God, and the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, through Whom we, Thy children of faith, have the forgiveness of our sins. Thou art our father's God; and Whom they in the flesh confidently worshiped, we, their children, would also reverently worship and adore.

Humbly, yet devotedly, would we give thanks to Thee, O God, for Thy great love revealed to us in Christ; and for Thy rich and unfailing providences to us, and to all men. For Jesus' sake, receive our thanks. Continue Thy loving favors to us, and grant us pardon for sin, and life eternal.

Give us, we beseech Thee, the Holy Spirit as our Guide this day, into truth. May He ever comfort us and all Thine in times of sorrow or of trial. May He strengthen us when we are weak. May He raise us up again, if we fall. May He inerpret Thy Word to us, and enable us to do Thy holy will with gladness of heart.

With us, bless also this, our nation, and the whole world with Heavenly peace, for Jesus' sake,


John Grant Newman
Philadelphia, Pennsylania

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Beautiful Snow

OK, ok, I know I've been longing for spring but a girl can change her mind, can't she?