Saturday, September 30, 2006

Winding down

Rebecca posted a delicious picture of her carrots this evening and that reminded me that I haven't posted any pictures of my small garden for a while.

The garden is definitely winding down. This afternoon, we cut back the tomatoes, removing all the extra leaves and flowering vines in order to allow the remaining tomatoes an opportunity to catch the sun they need to finish ripening on the vine. It was a messy job after the rain shower, but it had to be done!

I picked more cayennes and thai chili peppers yesterday. (cayennes on left, thai chilis on right)

They are still bearing well and unless we get an early frost, I will still be picking for awhile.

I've got peppers drying on my window sill, too.

We'll have enough dried soranno, cayenne, and thai peppers to last us for several years. The poblanos didn't have enough sun and we've only harvested two or three small peppers. The bush is full of flowers, but there's just not enough sun or time left in the growing season for them to bear fruit. We probably should have pulled it up while we were working, but it's healthy and growing and not bothering anyone, so we let it be for now.

This time of year I start thinking about next spring. What I'll try to grow and where I have any hope to grow it in this shady yard. What I'll do with that new sunny spot now that the big maple has been taken down. Flowers or veggies or both? Whether we should plant peppers again next year. What kind of peppers haven't we tried to grow yet? Could I ever hope to grow carrots like Rebecca's. . .well, I can dream, can't I?

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15 minutes or so later

[Scroll down for Photo Hunt]

Not 15 Minutes Ago

The sun was shining and the clouds were far enough away that washing windows on this fine Saturday afternoon seemed a good idea.

I guess it's true that all you have to do is wash windows or take your car through the carwash and the rain will come.


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Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt: Comfy

Quote of the Week

Can a person quote Sinclair Ferguson too much? I hope not, because this week's quote is again from the pen of Sinclair Ferguson. Ferguson has a wonderful way of teaching Christian doctrine in a way that is not only easy to understand, but rich and thought provoking as well.

If you've never read Sinclair Ferguson, I would like to recommend his book, The Christian Life: A Doctrinal Introduction.

"Union with Christ in his death and resurrection is the element of union which Paul most extensively expounds...if we are united to Christ, then we are united to him at all points of his activity on our behalf. We share in his death (we were baptized into his death), in his resurrection (we are resurrected with Christ), in his ascension (we have been raised with him), in his heavenly session (we sit with him in heavenly places, so that our life is hidden with Christ in God), and we will share in his promised return (when Christ, who is our life, appears, we also will appear with him in glory) (Rom. 6:14; Col. 2:11-12; 3:1-3).

This, then, is the foundation of sanctification in Reformed theology. It is rooted, not in humanity and their achievement of holiness or sanctification, but in what God has done in Christ, and for us in union with him. Rather than view Christians first and foremost in the microcosmic context of their own progress, the Reformed doctrine first of all sets them in the macrocosm of God's activity in redemptive history. It is seeing oneself in this context that enables the individual Christian to grow in true holiness."

- Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, 'Christian Spirituality: Five Views of Sanctification'

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God's Minute

September Thirtieth

Unto Thee life I up mine eyes, O Thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that He have mercy upon us.--Psalm 123:1-3

OUR Heavenly Father, in the light of another day we rise to do Thy will. We bless Thee for the comfort and rest of the night, and the promise of strength for the new day.

May we find joy in our toil, and much quiet in the clamor and strife of the street. May the still, small voice guide us in the way of all good, and may Thine own spirit throughout this day keep our eyes from tears, our feet from falling, and our souls from death.

Bless all our kind, and those everywhere that we hold dear, and do for them, we beseech Thee, beyond what we know how to ask. Forgive every wrong thing in our lives for which we repent. Keep us this day near to Thee in all our thoughts and words and deeds. Let Thy joy live in our hearts, and Thy peace abide in our homes, and all these things we ask in Jesus' name.


William Chalmers Covert, D.D.,
Chicago, Illinois

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Friday, September 29, 2006

All in a day's work

Over the last few days, I suspected this might be true, but found it hard to believe. But it is true and I wonder why it should surprise me, as smart as Ivy is. . .

Today, I was out in the yard doing doggy deposit duty. That's right, picking up dog poop. Ivy was out with me and I noticed that she was on point. I walked over and sure enough, she had scoped out a pile for me to pick up. I picked it up, told her she was a good girl and she ran to another pile and pointed.

Can you believe this dog?

No pictures of this self taught feat yet, but I'll see if I can capture a picture of her pointing out piles for me.

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Bragging's OK

When you're not bragging on yourself, right?

Well, I just have to brag this morning about how fabulous my blog looks! Don't you agree? This was a lovely surprise from my friend, Jules, from Everyday Mommy and Everyday Designs. The layout was designed by Susie of Bluebird Blogs.

It's nice to have a talented, generous friend.

God's Minute

September 29

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.--Philippians 1:6

OUR Heavenly Father we thank Thee for the communion of saints, Thy believing people, for the joy of fellowship in the Gospel, the incentives to faith, hope, and love. Receive too, our thanks for access to the throne of grace and for the blessed privilege of communing with Thee, for the peace in our hearts which passeth understanding, for the remisssion of sin through faith in the atoning merits of Thy Son, for the precious assurances of Thy Word that Thou Who has begun a good work in us wilt perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. We rejoice to know that when we are weak Thou art strong and mighty to save them to the uttermost who come to God. Remove from us all unkind judgments, unjust criticisms, all disparagement and distrust of our fellow-Christians. For Thy merciful protection, Thy provident care, Thy never-failing love, we render unto Thee the gratitude of our hearts. Defend us in the dark hour of temptation lest we fall and sin against Thee. Perfect the good work which Thou hast begun in us. Bless, we beseech Thee, the labors of Thy Church at home and abroad. May Thy kingdom come. May the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in its wings for all the nations of the earth. Pardon our sins. Lead us in the way of truth, and unto Thee, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be glory and dominion now and evermore.


Rev. George Taylor Rygh, LITT.D.,
Minneapolis, Minnesota

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remisssion of sin through faith in the atoning merits of Thy Son

Hebrews 9:22
22Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Acts 10:43
To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

Acts 2:38
And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Acts 4:12
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Thursday, September 28, 2006

God's Minute

September Twenty-eighth

He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.--1 John 1:9

ALMIGHTY GOD of the Heaven the earthy and the sea! God of our fathers and God of the nations! Hear us, we pray Thee! Forgive our sins and remove our transgressions far from us. Help us, that we may behold Thy glory.

Help us to see the beauties of Thy law, and to feel the quickening power of Thy wonderful love. Give us, we pray Thee, broad faith, bright hopes, strong love and a firm step to meet the duties of life.

Let our hearts sing for joy in the remembrance of Thy goodness. Keep us in strength, that we may serve Thee. We praise Thee for Thy many and signal blessings vouchsafed to us, not only as individuals, but also as a people and a nation. We thank Thee for our forefathers, for Thy manifold blessings bestowed upon them, and through them upon us, their children. We pray Thee, O God, for grace to enable us to live useful lives, helpful to our fellow men.

May wars and strife cease, and the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and His Christ. Hear our prayers for our Redeemer's sake.


Lucian J. Fosdick,
Dorchester, Massachusetts

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Forgive our sins

Forgiveness is found in Christ

1 John 2:12
I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name's sake.

Acts 10:43
To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Luke 24:47
repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thursday Photo Challenge: Light

Works for Me Wednesday: Evernote

This week's tip is one I think you'll all like, especially if you are finding some really good WFMW tips each week, but there just seem to be so many that you can't remember them all.

I'd like to introduce you to one of my favorite, free programs, Evernote. Evernote is a notetaking program that is amazingly easy to use. When I turn on my computer in the morning, I launch my Outlook and then Evernote.

Evernote sits there in my task bar, waiting to serve me as soon as I come across a great quote, or an idea for a post, or a scripture passage I want to check out, or anything else I want to remember. The really best thing about it is that if you copy and paste something from the internet, it embeds a hyperlink (go to source) so if you want to go back and tell someone that you tried their Italian White Bean, Sausage, and Spinach soup and it was delicious, you can "remember" where you found the recipe. (I used this as an example because I copied that recipe without using Evernote and I don't remember who to thank.)

Evernote. Works for Me!
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This was definitely my most popular Works for Me Wednesday! Not only did I have a lot of hits, I had a lot of email notes from bloggers, thanking me for recommending this fantastic program! In fact, there was so much "action" coming from this blog that it came to the attention of the kind people at Evernote, who contacted me when their new EverNote Beta 1.5 launched, asking me to download it and give a review.

Here are some of the great new features:

A few highlights include: New clipping functionality, New drag-and-drop functionality, Ability to open multiple databases in separate windows; Spellchecker; New shortcuts; Password protection for the entire EverNote file; Ability to export notes into TXT and HTM formats; Other improvements and bug fixes. My favorite enhancement is the new file synchronization ability, where you can synchronize your notes between your PC and a USB drive or between
multiple PCs via USB drives.* This allows the ability to make note links everywhere! This sync function is especially great for students who are always on the go and using multiple computers to get their various assignments completed.

*I have not used this function personally, but I'm sure that it would be an awesome function for people who use multiple computers.

The best thing is that you can install it right over your old EverNote and not lose a thing! So, stop what you're doing and go download the new EverNote 1.5! The rest of the WFMW links will still be there and you'll be ready to make an EverNote of the ones you want to remember!

God's Minute

September Twenty-seventh

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for help.--Psalm 146:5

WE REJOICE, O God, that we art not lonely orphans in the world. We gladly realize that we can look unto Thee and call Thee "our Father." Lead us to note Thy nearness. In the midst of the hurry and flurry of the day, quiet our lives and prompt us to listen to Thy voice, and to interpret aright Thy message. We thank Thee for the bright sunshine and the blue heavens, for fresh air and wholesome food. We praise Thee for the privilege of study and meditation; for uplifting books and ennobling thoughts. We are grateful for good friends and loving companions. May our lives, as well as our lips, tell Thee of our gratitude. Speak with our tongues; work with our hands; send our feet on Thy errands; possess our whole being; "Let that mind be in us which was in Christ Jesus."

Save us from listlessness and laziness; keep us from flimsiness and frivolity; deliver us from selfishness; fill us with cheer, and lead us to brighten the lives of all we meet. Remove from us all malice and meanness. Help us to flee from evil, follow after righteousness, and fight the good fight of faith. Broaden our vision, deepen our earnestness, lengthen our love, intensify our reverence and increase our usefulness, we ask in our Master's name.

Francis Harvey Green, A.M., LITT. D.,
West Chester, Pennsylvania

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"Let that mind be in us which was in Christ Jesus."

Philippians 2:1-6

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

God's Minute

September 26

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?--Matthew 7:11

O GOD, our Father, Thou art always the same today, yesterday and forever. But we are different, and our ways are doubtful; and we know not what a day may bring forth. Guide us today as those who will surely miss the path except Thou go before and show the way. O Lord, deal gently with our wandering lives. Save us when we fall. We will need Thee every hour to make our progress swift, and sweet and sure toward the Father's House.

As day is added unto day may we add to our strength diligence and faith also, and patience, and self-control, and kindness and a love which never faileth. Help us to be wiser today because of yesterday's failures, stronger by reason of any deffeat which came to afflict us. Make us forgiving since there is much for which we need forgiveness. May we this day do nothing hurtful to one another or shameful to our calling as believers in the Lord.

We thank Thee that Thou art so willing to be our Helper--waiting to be welcomed to our homes and wanting to be trusted in our hearts. O that we were as eager to be saved by Thee as Thou art to save us!

Make this, then, a good day for us, living through its tasks, as we shall wish we had, when the day is done, for Christ's sake.


J. Henry Harms, D.D.,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Thou art always the same today, yesterday and forever.

God is immutable--unchanging

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Numbers 23:19
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Monday, September 25, 2006

God's Minute

September 25

Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee. Blessed art Thou, O Lord: teach me Thy statues.--Psalm 119:11-12

DEAR Father in Heaven, we come to Thee in love and praise for all the blessings we enjoy; for the food we have to eat, for the water we drink, the raiment we wear and the fresh air we breathe. We thank Thee for our home, our loved ones, and that we live in a land and an age when we can worship Thee openly. We thank Thee for the open Bible, but above all else we thank Thee that Thou didst lead us out of darkness into light through the gift of Thy dear Son.

O Father, help us to become more worthy of Thy watchful care and love. Keep us in the straight and narrow path. Bless us in our plans and purposes, but defeat us in them if they lead us from Thee. Help us to let our light shine, and give us souls for our hire, in the name of Jesus we ask it.


Rev. John L. Brandt,
St. Louis, Missouri

Colossians 1:11-14
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Eph 5:8-10
8 for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.

2 Corinthians 4:1-5
Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said:

Matthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sunday Hymn

All Creatures of Our God and King

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!

O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Francis of Assissi, 1225

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God's Minute

September Twenty-fourth

For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether. Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.--Psalm 139:4, 23-24

O GOD, we give Thee thanks for Thy great goodness, and Thy unfailing kindness. Day after day Thou hast bestowed upon us gifts according to our need. Teach us so to use them that in all our doings we may glorify Thy name*, and further Thy righteous cause.

Above all, Most merciful Father, we bless Thee for Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Saviour. For His sake, do Thou receive us, and grant us Thy Spirit, that we may be enabled to follow in His footsteps, and to grown in His likeness. Prepare us, Heavenly Father, for all the appointments of Thy wise and loving Providence. May we be found, in them all, diligent, brave and faithful!

We commend to thy love and care all that are dear to us, and all men everywhere in their need of Thee. May Thy gracious hand lead and keep them till the discipline of life is over! Then may we and they be brought into Thy glorious presence, and find a place in Thine everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


T. B. Kilpatrick, D.D.,
Toronto, Canada

*we may glorify Thy name

1 Corinthians 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt: Eyes

Quote of the Week

Two facts about the triune Jehovah are assumed, if not actually stated, in every single biblical passage. The first is that He is king--absolute monarch of the universe, ordering all its affairs, working out His will in all that happens within it. The second fact is that He speaks--uttering words that express His will in order to cause it to be done.

Knowing God, J.I. Packer

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God's Minute

September Twenty-third

Let Thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord, even Thy salvation, according to Thy word. So shall I have wherewith to answer him that reproacheth me: for I trust in Thy word. And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; for I have hoped in Thy judgments. So shall I keep Thy law continually for ever and ever.--Psalm 119:41-44.

OUR Father, Who art in Heaven, Thou art also upon the earth. Thou didst stretch forth Thy hand and darkness came over the earth, Thou hast stretched it forth again and light has flooded the world. We give Thee thanks for the morning light and for the sleep and rest of the night. Grant to us this day wisdom for our problems, courage for our tasks, patience for our toil, strength for our burdens, and faith for our enterprises. Enable us to so spend this day that our work shall be our worship. May we be "the glory of Christ" among men, commending Him and His salvation. Enable us to so spend the day that our spiritual life shall be enriched by its experiences, and our fellow men helped by our influence. Help us to maintain a conscience void of offense toward God and man. We ask it all in Christ's name.


William Robert King, D.D.,
Kansas City, Missouri

our work shall be our worship

1 Corinthians 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

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Friday, September 22, 2006

God's Minute

September 22

All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the Lord weigheth the spirits. Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.--Proverbs 16:2-3

OUR Father, Who art in Heaven, Thou art our Father, though we are of the earth, and impure in Thy sight. Thou dost love us, and we are Thy children. The goodiness is show in that Thou hearest our prayers.

We thank Thee for so many tokens of Thy favor and abiding love. Help us to live as Thy children should live every day that we tarry here. May we learn more of Thee as the days rush on into eternity. May all our powers and service be devoted to Thee. May it be our constant joy to serve Thee and follow where Thous dost lead. Thou dost always design the best possible course for us--therefore we are safe in doing Thy will.

Teach us Thy way, and help us to keep our feet therein. In the hard places of life's pathway, help us, Lord, for we are weak, and sometimes we fall. "We need Thee every hour." Keep us from falling into sin. Save us now and evermore, we pray, for the sake of Jesus, our Master.


Rev. W. W. Van Dusen,
Boise, Idaho

We Pray

To the Father:

Matthew 6:5

5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.

10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

In Jesus' Name:

Matthew 18:20

20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

John 14:13

13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Autumn Harvest Soup

Here's a simple recipe that's really made for those first, crisp days of Autumn-to-come. It's chock full of the vegetables that are still lingering in the garden at this point in the season. It takes just a few minutes to throw together. If you make it with low salt tomato juice, it is very healthy, too! All it needs is a loaf of crusty bread and a big soup spoon! Bon Appetit!

Autumn Harvest Soup

1 can low salt tomato juice
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes or 1 can diced tomatoes with juice

1 stalk celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 each yellow squash and zucchini squash, diced
1 large onion, diced large
1 handful each--red, yellow, and green pepper, diced large
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Simmer on top of the stove until veggies are soft and flavors have had a chance to mingle.

(I add 1 serrano pepper, opened and seeds removed. I don't dice it, so that I can pull it out before serving. If you're not wild about heat, this soup really doesn't need the hot pepper.)

I'll post a picture when blogger decides to cooperate.

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More evidence. . .

. . .that "Dan is the Man."

Dan, of Teampyro, takes on a greatly cherished and greatly misunderstood aspect of our Christian faith--Prayer.

It take a brave man to challenge our cherished misconceptions. Here's a sample:

Prayer is not a dialogue. Prayer is not a conversation. Prayer has no intrinsic power, whatever.

"What?! Heresy!"

Show me from the Bible. In the Bible, what I say to God is prayer, what He says to me is revelation, it is prophecy. If I am a Christian, I talk to Him. If He talks directly to me, unmediated, I am a prophet, or a seer. And I'm neither; nor are you.
Before you shout, "Heresy!," go read his post.

Bravo, Dan!

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Thursday Photo Challenge: Occupation

God's Minute

September Twenty-first

I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God.--Deuteronomy 30:16

OUR Heavenly Father, we come to Thee this morning with praise and thanksgiving for Thy care and love. We are grateful for the temperal blessings Thou hast given us, and for the loved ones we have to enjoy. We thank Thee for the gift of Thy Son, and for the Holy Spirit.

We ask Thee to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Be with us this day, and help us to be kind and courteous. Help us to be more like Thee. May our eyes be opened to the opportunities for serving Thee and helping others to know Thee, Whom to know aright is life eternal.

May Thy Spirit be with those, at home or abroad, who preach or teach salvation, and grant that the word preached may not return unto Thee void. Be with those in authority and may they rule with justice and equity. Comfort "as one whom his mother comforteth: those in trouble and sorrow, and strengthen those in sickness.

Our Father, hear our petition, and keep us this day without sin, for the sake and in the name of Jesus, our Saviour.


Clarence B. Mitchell,
Haverhill, Massachusetts


All have sinned.

Romans 3:23
all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Sin brings death.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Jesus came to take away our sins

John 1:29
He saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

1 John 4:14
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1 Peter 2:24

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

1 John 1:7

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

Christ frees us from sin and gives us eternal life.

Romans 6:22
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

God's Minute

September Twentieth

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

OUR gracious Lord, we beseech Thee to so guide and bless us this day, that we may become more like Thy Blessed Son, in all the gracious and wonderful perfections of His being. We earnestly pray that we may possess the mind of Christ--the mind of perfect humility; that His cross of self-denial and sacrifice may be willingly assumed and carried as one of the coveted privileges of the Christian life; that we may enjoy the Spirit of Christ, for we have learned that human wisdom is not sufficient to equip us to meet the demands of life and service; that we may possess the purity of Christ in Whom there was found no fault; that the confidence of Christ may be ours, the confidence which perfect faith ensures; that the joy of Christ may fill our souls, the joy of perfect peace--peace enjoyed because there exists between Thy heart and ours nothing to create division or friction.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may so lives as to be fit to represent Thy dear Son as ambassadors; that we may be epistles known and read of all men, as telling the story of a wonderful redemption; that the influence of our lives may be such that men may constantly take knowledge of us that we have been with Christ Jesus and have learned of Him.


Rev. George R. Stair,
Portland, Maine

Hello, Yuekui,

I hope that you are still coming here to read the daily prayers. Here are some verses to help you begin to learn about Jesus, God's Son, the One in Whose Name we offer up our prayers to God.

Our redemption (salvation) is in Jesus Christ, God's Son

Salvation is in Christ
2 Timothy 2:10
Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Eternal life is in Christ

1 John 5:11
And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
God's love is in Christ

God's grace is in Christ

2 Timothy 2:1
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,

We are blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ

Ephesians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places

Our new life, given by God, is in Christ

1 Corinthians 1:30
He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.

Our salvation is through the sacrificial death of Christ on our behalf

Ephesians 1:7

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Why do I blog?

Many people have asked me that question. I have asked myself that question more times than I care to admit.

There are many reasons but chief among them is to share my love and faith in Jesus Christ and my love for His Word and His people.

This morning when I logged into my email, I found a note that a person in Shanghai, China had left in the comments on the September 18th God's Minute post. I would ask you to go and read it in it's entirety, but here's an excerpt:

I COME to you blog in September 1th. I was impressed by nothing except the book of “God's Minute” and the word of “hiraeth”. I admire the mood of hiraeth though it's pain but it's perpetual and glamorous, and I always the complex of hiraeth. I fond of the word in “God's Minute” and really appreciate it. I never have too much chance and permission to excess such books of divine. Times long ago I have red the book “the gadfly”, though it's a book of atheism. I thought the writer had exaggerated the behaviors of the man too much for his atheism, which looks really ridiculous. What I interest was the depiction of struggle of the belief. And to me, I pour all my commiseration to the lovely father. All day long, things that I don't know but I want to know makes me confused and I always repine at no guide for the life and no man can drug me out of the senseless world. When I read the words you excerpt from “God's Minute”,I feel calmness and revived with energy just like I have find the guide and someone have been my guard and always stands with me.

I'm bringing this to your attention so that you can pray for Yuekui. He (or she) has been encouraged and intrigued by the recorded prayers of the saints of times past, but salvation is not to be found in a book of prayer, no matter how encouraging. It is only to be found in the Word of God. Won't you join me in praying for and encouraging Yuekui in the days and weeks to come? It is nearly impossible and even dangerous to possess a Bible in China. Would you pray with me that Yuekui might be able to have access to the Bible? That God would put him in contact with other Christians who can share the Gospel with him and come alongside him and teach him? And especially that God would so work in his heart and life through the truth of His Word and the work of the Spirit that he would be given the gift of faith in Christ.

God's Minute

September Nineteenth

Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful. . .abundant in lovingkindness.--Nehemiah 9:17

ALMIGHTY GOD, Thy ways concerning us we do not always understand, for Thou dost lead us in paths that we know not of, and Thy ways are not as our ways, and Thy thoughts are not as our thoughts; but it is enough for us to know that Thy way is ever and always the best way. Help us to walk in it step by step, with all patience, hopefulness, and cheer, believeing that Thou wilt at last lead us into a large and quiet place. Wherein we have desired to do better and to be better Thou hast not scourged us with reproach, nor chided us for our past failures, not cast up in our faces our past misdeeds; but, rather, Thou has welcomed us at the Cross, and there upon the cross we behold the manifestation of Thy tenderest heart love. Fill the entire horizon of our lives, blot out every other figure, destroy the light of every other attraction, and grant that as we lift up our eyes we may see no one in our Redemption but Jesus and Jesus only! Be round about us as a great defense of fire. Help us trust Thee where we cannot trace Thee. May we never forget that, always and everywhere, God is Love. Sanctify Thine afflictive dispensations to our good and to the great glory of Thy Name. Help us to walk worthy of our calling in all things. We ask it in the name of Thy Son, our Saviour.


S. G. Neil, D.D.,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Monday, September 18, 2006

That I might admire and exalt Him

Psalm 18

"In that excellent psalm David enumerates and records all God's goings towards him. Oh then, with the psalmist, let my soul meditate on all the works of God; listen and file up the dispensations of His observable providences towards others and myself. Meditate on His so merciful preservings, directings, prosperings, and all other sorts and ways of providence; that I may admire and exalt Him, depend, and trust and wait upon Him, and walk so before Him, that His ways may ever be mercy and truth towards me."

Solitude Improved by Divine Meditation, Chapter 23, Part II by Nathanael Ranew

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Soli Deo Gloria

When my friend, Jules, announced her Summer Writing Contest, "What My Children Taught Me about God," I immediately thought of a post I had written last November on the occasion of my son, Jake's, 21st birthday. I had only been blogging a little over a month at that time and I had only a tiny handful of readers, so the post has had very little exposure. I normally don't enter contests but this time I decided to enter. I thought perhaps the story of Jake's birth and God's incredible mercy might be an encouragement to another family who found themselves in a similar situation. It's a story I never tire of telling.

Last evening, I got an email from Jules telling me that my post was the third place winner in the contest. I never quite know what to do with such honors; I am thankful for the recognition but at the same time, I feel uncomfortable drawing attention to myself. However, in this case, I am pleased to have the opportunity to tell the story of God's goodness, mercy, and loving kindness to our family yet again. Therefore, I am re-posting Jake's story here with the hope and prayer that it may bring honor and glory to the One Who deserves all honor, praise and glory for His great deeds and tender mercies.

----- Originally posted on November 6, 2005

Psalm 139:13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there were none of them.

Twenty-one years ago today with the birth of our second son, Jake, our lives changed forever. To be sure, the birth of every baby in every family changes our lives and the dynamics of our homes, but sometimes the changes are life shattering and life altering.

Jake’s birth was going to be “by the books.” Our oldest son, John, born three years earlier, had been more than a week overdue; it took 33 hours of labor and an emergency C-section for him to arrive on the scene. But this time it was going to be easy. We were looking forward to the scheduled C-section delivery—a week before the due date, no labor, no surprises. It was going to be a nice counter balance to the drama of John’s birth.

The morning of the delivery came and everything was on schedule. My OB-Gyn assured us that this time it was going to be different. This time Tom was going to be with us for the delivery. This time I would get to keep the baby with me in the delivery room. It was a happy morning full of excitement and anticipation. My sister had surprised us by getting up early and driving 45 minutes to be there with us. John was staying with a neighbor until Tom could slip away and bring him to see his new brother or sister. The grandparents were going to come later in the day. Ronald Regan was going to be re-elected, no doubt about that—I had cast my vote weeks before by absentee ballot. It was going to be a perfect delivery—a perfect day.

But when our little boy, Jacob Thomas, was born we knew immediately that something was wrong. He wasn’t pinking up. His first apgar test was 0. The doctor and the delivery room staff took on a practiced, deliberate pace as they began evaluating Jake. Things got very serious. His second test was 2. Something wasn’t just wrong, it was terribly wrong. Jake was whisked out of the room. Weeks later I would remember kissing him on the top of the head as they carried him away. That memory had been lost in the fear and shock of the moment.

And so began the rest of his life—and ours. I was taken to a recovery room. I began to pray. “O God, please! O God, please!” Please what? “Please save him, help him, please let us keep him, please be with him, please help me trust you, please help me accept this, and finally, O God, please help me give him to You!"

A team was brought from the nearest heart center to evaluate Jake and to stabilize him for transportation to Medical Hospital in Toledo. Jake was hanging on. They did an echocardiogram and some other tests. My memory of the sequence of events is fuzzy. I remember my sister being there with me as I waited for news. What a comfort it was to have her there with me! At this point we knew very little, only that Jacob had some type of heart defect. Kathy was holding my hand, telling me about all the wonderful things that can be done with heart defects, praying with me, just being with me. Tom was off somewhere signing papers, doing the things that needed to be done. Oh, how I wanted him there with me, but hospitals have their procedures and their paces and it felt as though he had been swallowed up in it, just like Jake had.

I have no idea how long it was—it seemed forever—but there was Tom, and my doctor, and our pediatrician. They sat down and began to talk. I remember searching their faces looking for a clue, looking for hope. Tom looked like I have never seen him look before—in shock, despairing, grieving, helpless. He kissed me, held my hand, and kept saying, “I’m here.” Kathy retreated to the other side of the room and we all listened as the team of doctors informed us of what was happening.

The echo revealed that Jacob had a “boot shaped” heart. My eye caught my sister’s face. I’ll never forget the look. As a nurse, she understood what that meant. Inside, I began to pray and plead as I readied myself for what was coming. Jake had hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Twenty-one years ago, that was considered an inoperable defect. They told us that Jake was being readied for transport. Tom needed to follow the ambulance. They didn’t know if he would make it. And then they wheeled him into the room in a tiny isolate. I was lying flat on my back because of the spinal, but the nurse cranked my bed up so that I could see him and say good bye. He was so beautiful! I looked past the ashen blue color of his skin and saw his long, golden eyelashes, his plump, filled out newborn body—He was so beautiful! My mind was engaged in the drumbeat of prayer, “O God, please!” And He answered that prayer. In that moment, He helped me to give our son to Him, trusting Him to do what was right and good in His sight. The fear and shock and pain were still there, but the burden had shifted to Christ.

Kathy went with Tom to the hospital. How grateful I was that he didn’t have to drive there alone and that she would be there to help him understand what they were telling him about Jake’s condition. I was moved to a private room where I began to wait. At some point my mother was there, holding my hand, brushing the hair from my face, giving me water, doing anything thing she could to help. We sat there in silence, each of us with her own thoughts and prayers. There was nothing to say. It was time to wait.

We had a brief call from Tom, saying that Jacob was in the cath lab and that we would know more when the doctor came to talk to him. He had learned that Jake had gone into complete cardiac and respiratory arrest several times on the way to the hospital and that it had taken a long time before they had been able to move him out of the ambulance and into the hospital because his condition was so unstable.

The hospital staff allowed my mother to stay with me long past the end of visiting hours, but eventually she had to leave. The room was dark, I had been given several shot to help me sleep, but I couldn’t sleep until I knew how Jacob was. I had to know. I had to pray.

Then sometime after midnight, our pediatrician came into the room. He sat down in a chair in the corner, in the dark and began to talk. He had talked to the cardiologist. He couldn’t explain it, he didn’t understand it, but things had changed! The cardiologist had reviewed the videotape of Jacob’s echo that was taken before he was transported. It showed, very clearly, hypoplastic left heart syndrome; and yet, when he got into the cath lab and began to work on Jake, the images he saw on his screen were very, very different. Jake’s defect was no longer HLHS—the catheterization revealed that he had Transposition of the Great Vessels with a large ventricular septal defect. Neither doctor used the “m” word, but neither could explain how a baby born with HLHS in Findlay, Ohio could hours later present with an entirely different defect, this time an entirely operable defect.

This was only the beginning of “miracles” in Jacob’s life. To tell the whole story would take a very long time, and yet I hardly know where to stop. Because it is the story of his life, and today is his 21st birthday.

Every year at this time, I remember his birth and I remember each stage of his life with us as it unfolded. His first open heart surgery at 3 ½ months. His beautiful toddler smile. The way he smelled when he woke up from his nap and climbed up into my lap. His first day of kindergarten, praying for a kitty, winning the speech meet in 2nd grade, playing t-ball. Another open heart surgery at age 10, home schooling him in 6th and 7th grade, going out for the baseball team when he was a junior in High School, never having played since t-ball at age five (now that takes courage!), coming home on the bus with the Coach’s Award, being crowned Homecoming King his senior year. All these events in his life and many others run together through my mind almost like the prayers ran together on the day he was born.

Today Jacob is in college, serving on the leadership team of the Campus Christian Fellowship. He still has the most beautiful smile. He has so much to live for.

I think about miracles a lot, especially around Jake’s birthday. I used to think of them as God swooping in at the last second and intervening in the lives of men—breaking through His own laws of His own creation to do something that can only be done by Him. Changing things at the last minute. And yet, the longer I am a Christian, the more I see that miracles are only miracles from our limited point of view. God had a settled plan for Jake’s life. He formed his inward parts; he knit Jake together in my womb. Jacob is fearfully and wonderfully made. God’s eyes saw his unformed substance; in His book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for Jake, when as yet there were none of them.

Through Jake’s life I have learned that His works—all His works—are wonderful and my soul knows it very well.

Happy Birthday, Jake!

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God's Minute

September Eighteenth

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.--Ephesians 4:29-31

ALMIGHTY GOD, our Father and Preserver, Who, having refreshed us with a night's slumber, has awakened us to the duties of a new day, grant us, we humbly beseech Thee, Thy heavenly presence, that we may be able to do our work as in the great Taskmaster's eye.

O Thou Who hast redeemed us through Thy mercy, be pleased to defend us by Thy grace from the evil without us, and within. Save us from the power of our own lusts; the subtle suggestions of our own thoughts; the treachery of our own hearts; and cause Thy face to shine upon us, O Thou in Whose presence there is no night, that this day and all our days may be pure and holy and that we may walk in the light as children of the light. We beseech Thee to hear us, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Rev. T. B. McCorkindale, M.A.,
Chesterville, Canada

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

God's Minute

September Seventeenth

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.--Psalm 103:1-5

ALMIGHTY GOD, Father of all grace, we adore Thee as The Author of our being, our Preserver, and our Redeemer. Cleanse us from all inherent iniquity, and from all the defilements of sin contracted as we have lived and moved in a sinful world. Command a double portion of ThySpirit's power upon Thy ministers, upon all Christian workers, and upon all Thy people who constitue Thy Kingdom upon earth. Grant that Thy children may show that spirit of kindness and helpfulness which was manifested by our Lord Jesus Christ when upon earth. Work in us the spirit of forgiveness towards all who may have in any way offended against us. Give us that which is necessary for the health of our bodies and endue us with the spirit of contentment. Give us a just conception of the things with which we are surrounded, and make us faithful in the discharge of all our duties.

We ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.


Rev. William Megginson,
Richmond, Virginia

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt: Lookin' Up

God's Minute

September Sixteenth

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving.--Psalm 95:2

O LORD GOD, our Father, Saviour and Guide, by Whose gracious and bountiful providence we have been nourished and sustained until this hour, and Whose redemptive, all-embracing love we greatly rejoice, accept, we beseech Thee, the sincere and profound gratitude of our hearts for Thine unfailing mercy and goodness. Pardon, we implore Thee, all our failings, faults and follies. By the Spirit dwelling within us, sweeten our dispositions and chasten all our appetites and desires. Sanctify our home, light it with the lamp of Thy presence continually, and warm it with the fire of Thy love.

Make Thy way plain before our eyes, and lead us onward and upward. Sanctify unto us all our trials and difficulties. Help us over the hard places, and in the smooth places suffer us not to forget our constant need of Thee. Quicken and intesify our love to Thee, and help us to be compassionate and generous in all our dealings with our fellow men. Enable us to do justly and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with Thee. May we not be overcome of evil, but may we overcome evil with good.

O let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, but establish Thou the righteous! And may the whole earth be filled with Thy glory!


W. H. Cline, D. D.,
Georgetown, Ontario, Canada

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Quote of the Week

This quotation was brought to my mind because I have joined an online Bible Study that began just yesterday. I've led and participated in many Bible Studies over the years and have always noticed that there are those who make a good start, but quickly find that they "just don't have the time." I am posting this as a reminder to all of us, myself included, that we DO have the time to study our Bibles. We simply need to TAKE the time to do it!

Do you realize that tape-recorded readings of the Bible have proven that you can read through the entire Bible in seventy-one hours? The average person in the United States watches that much television in less than two weeks.

Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Peter Piper

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper;
A peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper
Where’s the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked?

If Peter picked a peck at my house today, he'd be filling his basket with Super Cayenne and Thai Chili Peppers. Maybe he could talk Mrs. Piper into making him a big pot of Thai Chicken Noodle Soup.


As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
Psalm 42:1-2

God's Minute

September 15

Thanksgiving . . . be unto our God for ever and ever.--Revelation 7:12

O THOU God of Heaven and earth, Thou Who hast established the home and sanctified it, bless, we pray Thee, this our home. May it be a place where Thou canst dwell, a place in whichThy Spirit shall reign supreme, a place which is a real home in every sense of the word.

May the home-maker be conscious this day of Thy presence, and may she lean upon Thee for strength and for help, and may the home-provider be led by Thee as he goes out to his work, and be sustained by Thee as he meets the trials and temptations that shall beset him, and be returned in health when the work of the day is all over, to this our home and resting place.

May nothing be allowed to mar our home relations, and may each member of this home be faithful and true. May the parents be all they ought to be to the children, teaching them by example as well as by precept, and may the children hold dear the lessons they learn from the parents, and may both parents and children be what they ought to be in the sight of the Lord.

This we ask in the name of Jesus our Redeemer.


Llewellyn L. Henson, D. D.,
Pueblo, Colorado

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday Photo Challenge: Home

I know I've posted this before, but it is my favorite picture of our home. Not that you can see much of the house but, nestled in between the huge trees, it communicates the coziness and warmth that is our home--inside and out!

Thursday Photo Theme