Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Thoughts on Reformation Day

As most of you know, today is Reformation Day. The blogosphere will be full of posts recounting the historical event from the year 1517, when Martin Luther's 95 Theses were nailed to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

I have nothing original to add, but I did read quite a bit yesterday about Luther and the 95 Theses and the Reformation and was struck yet again with an awesome awareness of God's providential Hand in the affairs of men. So often we fall into thinking that the Reformation of the church was Luther's affair, and forget that God ordered events to "fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently:"

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter V: Of Providence

I. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.

II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.

III. God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at his pleasure.

IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men; and that not by a bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.

V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave, for a season, his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled; and, to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.

VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous Judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden, from them he not only withholdeth his grace whereby they might have been enlightened in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts; but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had, and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasions of sin; and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan, whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others.

VII. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.
Luther was a man who was tortured by his sinful, corrupt heart. Trained as a lawyer, he understood the imperatives of God's law and no matter how frequently or passionately he confessed those sins, he was never able to gain a sense of forgiveness because confession only served to prove the "hidden strength of corruption and deceitfulness of his heart." And yet it was this tortured soul that God awakened to the truth that would characterize the cry of the Reformation: "The just shall live by faith!"

Luther was used by God for "sundry and other just and holy ends." God was the Reformer.

If you write about Reformation Day today, don't forget to send a link to Tim so he can add it to his Reformation Symposium!

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God's Minute

October 31

Forgiving one another, as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. -- Eph. 4:32

Our Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for protection and sleep through the night, and for the blessing of a new day. We beseech Thee to guide us through all its hours, giving us wisdom to understand and grace to do Thy will. Among ourselves, and among all with whom we have to do, enable us to keep and show the Spirit of Christ.

We pray Thee to bless the children, with their companions and teachers, and do Thou teach them always to be fair, to love truth and hate a lie. Guard our absent dear ones, keeping their hearts pure and their hands clean, and grant them health and prosperity according to Thy will.

We ask Thy blessing upon our neighbors, and especially upon any in sorrow or sickness or business trials, or any trouble, that their faith and courage fail not, and that under Thy blessing they may come to a better day. We pray for all who have yielded to temptation, and all who refuse Jesus Christ, that through repentance and faith Thou mayest bring them to an assured salvation. Keep us humble and watchful and prayerful through all the day, and help us to consider others rather than to please ourselves. Forgive our sins; fit us for our tasks, in Jesus' name.


George N. Luccock, D.D.,
Oak Park, Illinois

Monday, October 30, 2006

God's Minute

October 30

If you shall ask anything in My name, I will do it. __John 14:14

OUR Father, Who through another night hast kept us with the loving care a mother might show to her infant child, while in the land of sleep and all unmindful of the world about us, we have been with Thee; though to the darkness of the night has been added the closing of our eyes, Thou hast seen us. Unconscious we have been, as though we dwelt in the land of death, but Thou has been mindful of us.

From dangers all unseen Thou hast protectd us; from the land of mystic shadows to the light of a new day Thou hast brought us. We give Thee thanks. And now, O Father, the day is ours--Thy priceless gift. Help us this day to love Thee. Help us this day to do Thy will. Help us to be patient, kind and true.

Through all this day may we remember that all men are Thy children. Help us to show our love to Thee by being helpful to our fellows. Help us to be clean in thought and word and deed. And when again we return to the land of refreshing sleep, if we no more should wake on earth, may we awake with Thee.


Rev. F. B. Stockdale,
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand
The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land;
A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way,
From the burning of the noontide heat and the burden of the day.

Upon that cross of Jesus my eyes at times can see
The very dying form of One who suffered there for me;
And from my smitten heart with tears, two wonders I confess -
The wonders of His glorious love and my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, the shadow for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of His face;
Content to let the world go by, to know no gain or loss,
My sinful self, my only shame; my glory all the cross.

God's Minute

October Twenty-ninth
While ye have Light, believe in the Light.--John 12:36

ALMIGHTY GOD, our Heavenly Father, we come with reverence to Thy mercy seat, honoring and praising Thy Holy Name.

We thank Thee for the revelation Thou hast made of Thyself in Thy Holy Word; in the beautiful works of nature; and by Thy Spirit in our hearts.

We confess our unworthiness of Thy blessings, for we have sinned, forgetful of Thy commands and of Thine infinite, eternal, unchangeable love. Father, forgive us for Christ's sake.

We thank Thee for our home and loved ones, and for all of life's comforts and joys. Bless every member of our family. Abide with us in our home; and when our days on earth are numbered, may our hearts rejoice in the assurance that our Saviour has prepared a place for us in His house of many mansions--the house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens--and there may we meet again our dear ones who have gone before us, and all who may come after us; and the glory of our salvation shall be, not unto us, but unto Thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the only living and true God, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.


Francis B. Reeves,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt: Safe

I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4:6

Theme: SAFE

Next week's theme is Windows.

Quote of the Week

Christian, believe this, and think on it: thou shalt be externally embraced in the arms of that love which was from everlasting, and will extend to everlasting-of that love which brought the Son of God’s love from heaven to earth, from earth to the cross, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to glory-that love which was weary, hungry, tempted, scorned, scourged, buffeted, spit upon, crucified, pierced-which did fast, pray, teach, heal, weep, sweat, bleed, die; that love will eternally embrace thee.

Richard Baxter, The Saints’ Everlasting Rest

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God' Minute

October 28

The Lord is good, and a strong hold in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust Him.--Nahum 1:7

OUR Father, we thank Thee for Thy revelation of love through Jesus Christ, and for all that He has brought to our lives of inspiration and guidance and hope. We thank Thee for the tasks Thou has given us, and for Thy presence and help as we undertake them. Help us, we pray, to live in unbroken companionship with Thee, to draw life from Thy life; to show Thee forth as we have to do with our fellow men in the ways of common life. Be quick to strengthen us when the lure of the world is strong upon us, and when we are tempted to put the things that perish above the things that are eternal. Give us a great hunger after righteousness, and help us to be genuine in all that we do and say and think.

As Thy disciples, O Christ, may we come to be more like Thee each day, as in ever-increasing measure the spirit which was in Thee comes to dwell in us. Help us to love God and our neighbors with all our hearts. Keep us from selfishness. Forgive our sins, for Thy name's sake.


Lathan A. Crandall, D.D.,
Minneapolis, Minn.

Friday, October 27, 2006

God's Minute

October 27

Ye are My friends if you do whatsoever I command you.--John 15:14

OUR Heavenly Father, we bless Thee for Thy great gifts to us, Thy children--that there is provision for all our needs. We thank Thee for the power given to men to bless and gladden one another by the warmth of love, the truth, and tenderness of friendship, and to support each other in all good. May we accept this great gift with a sense of responsibility. Let not the wealth of human love bestowed upon us be wasted or despised--the tender care lavished on us in our early days, the love of parents, the patience of teachers, the wisdom of counsellors, all the sweet charities of home, the joy and strength of true human intercourse.

As we have received of love, so may we give. May we learn the deep lessons of love--self-denial, patience, helpfulness, sympathy, and growth in gracious living. May the discipline of love train us in constancy and true virtues. May we use the love with which we have been dowered to panoply us against evil, to preserve us under the manifold dangers and temptations of the world.

Bless our friends--may they and we be friends of God. Above all, may our experience of earthly love bring us nearer to Thy love, O Thou Lover of our souls!


Hugh Black, D.D.,
New York City

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday Photo Challenge: Autumn

Your Opinion Requested

So, I'm reading Dracula for the first time. I'm thinking: this is a classic tale, written in the 1800's. How evil can it be? It's the "story telling kind of evil," right? Look, Dracula even has his own stamp!

I have read Frankenstein and it has a Christian world view. Frankenstein is shown to be a man who would be God, and his monster is a sympathetic character; misunderstood, maligned, abandoned. Moral of the story: God is God, man is not God, when man tries to be God, wickedness prevails along with all manner of pain and anguish. There is no happy ending to that story. That is as it should be.

As I read the first three chapters of Dracula, I thought: Wow! This Bram Stoker guy can really write! I was drawn in immediately. And then I got to the end of chapter three and (even though I knew that vampire antics were coming) I was totally unnerved by the description and am uncertain now whether, regardless of the compelling nature of the writing, I should continue to read this book.

Has anyone read it? What do you know of it? What was your opinion? Is there anything redeeming about it in the end? Is this a classic struggle between good and evil or simply evil?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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God's Minute

October 26

They believed the scripture.--John 2:22

OUR Father Who art in Heaven, we praise Thee for the grace which permits us to look upon another day. Wondrous is Thy love. We frail children of earth bow for a moment to receive the benediction of Thy infinite, omnipotent Fatherhood. Forth we go to battle and to toil. We dare not go alone. Temptation will crouch beside our pathway. Some of us may come upon dangers suddenly. Do Thou befriend us. When the duties of the day are done, may it please Thee to gather us at eventide an unbroken, happy family, with no stain of sin upon our garments. The Church we love, do Thou bless it. May the Holy Spirit abide with the pastor and all the people. We love our native land. Do Thou save it. For the whole world we offer our humble prayer. Thy Kingdom come. Great Son of God, dear Prince of Peace, why dost Thou tarry? Humanity dies. Give us hearts to bleed and hands to bless. Pity the men who have no home, and protect the women who toil and are weak. Send us from this trysting place to laugh and love and labor in the strength of Him Who said, "Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these, ye did it unto me." Lord, we thank Thee for Thy promised strength.


Rev. David Otis Cowles,
Jersey City, N.J.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Potato Fest 2006: Another recipe

This recipe comes from my sister in law, Susan. It's one of my favorite potato dishes.

Mock Pieroghis

1 box of jumbo shells, cooked and cooled
8-10 med.-lg. potaoes, peeled, cubed, and cooked as you would for mashed
1 jar Cheese Whiz
Mash potatoes with Cheese Whiz; chill mixture in frig.
Fill shells with cheese/potato mixture
Put in a buttered 13x9 pan.
Top with lg. onion, sliced and sauteed in butter Sprinkle lightly with bread crumbs

Cover and bake at 350 for 20-30 min., or till heated through. Remove the foil for the 5 or 10 minutes.

I have substituted instant mashed potatoes for the "real" potatoes and it works nearly as well and saves a lot of time. I've also tried to stuff the hot potatoes into warm shells. Not recommended.

Thanks, Rebecca, for coming up with Potato Fest 2006. I've had a lot of fun and added a bunch of new recipes to my collection, and one can never have enough potato recipes, right?

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God's Minute

October 25

He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.--Micah 6:8

ALMIGHTY GOD, Whom truly to know is everlasting life, we draw near to Thee at the beginning of this day, desiring to know Thee as the Father of our spirits, and to refresh our spirits in Thy eternal goodness. As we draw near to Thee in worship, we pray that Thou wilt draw near to us in blessing and in inspiration. Grant us, we beseech Thee, the things of which Thou seest our need. We ask for health, for opportunity, and for a willing mind that finds delight in fruitful labor. Grant us the consciousness of sin forgiven, that in our labors and undertakings there may be no sad friction of remorse and shame.

Grant us the blessing of friendship greatly widened. We would not think of ourselves as too good to mingle with the humblest. We would not live apart from others in hope and sympathy. Rather do we seek from Thee the gladness of the common life of all Thy children, and the sweetness of its universal hope. Thou Who hast made us of one blood, help us to toil and hope and suffer and rejoice as brethren, that in our common life Thy purpose may be glorified throught Jesus Christ our Lord.


Rev. Howard Chandler Robbins
New York City, N. Y.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

God's Minute

October 24

And make confession to Him.--Johsua 7:19

OUR Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for keeping guard over us during the night. We laid us down and slept; we awakened because Thou didst sustain us. Thou hast opened to us the gateway of this new day and set before us open doors of fresh opportunity and privilege. As we go forth to new duties and responsibilities, we pray for Thy presence to go with us. Strengthen us in our weakness, guide us in our ignorance, and inspire us both to will and to do according to Thy good pleasure. Enable us to present our bodies a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable unto Thee, which is our reasonable service. We commit to Thee all our loved ones, and beseech Thee that Thy Spirit may so control their hearts and guide their lives as to save them from forgetfulness of Thee, and from neglect of Thy claims. Remember those in authority over us. Put Thy fear in their hearts, that they may faithfully discharge their responsible duties. May Thy Spirit rest on all our people, causing us to lead peaceable, quiet and orderly lives. Hasten the triumphs of Thy Kingdom, until all hearts shall be brought under the rule of Christ, and the whole family of man shall constitute a brotherhood bound together by a bond of Christian love. These blessings we ask, with the forgiveness of our sins, in the name of Jesus Christ.


R. C. Reed, D. D.,
Columbia, S.C.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Remove the seeds from three large pumpkins and wash thoroughly. Lay seeds on a foil lined sheet pan and dry them in the oven at 250 degrees for about 10-15 minutes. Melt a stick of butter. Once the seeds are dry, stir them gently and drizzle with the butter. Sprinkle liberally with seasoned salt. Bake for about an hour at 325 degrees, keeping a close eye on them and stirring occasionally. I usually salt two or three more times during baking. You'll know they are done when most of the butter disappears and the seeds look brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels and let cool. The seeds are toasty, nutty, and salty with a bit of a brown butter flavor.

Sorry I don't have any pictures of the finished product for you but they're not all that much to look at. They are, however, very tasty!


Here's another pumpkin seed recipe. I got this one last year from my friend, Tulip Girl.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

1 C pumpkin seeds
5 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
pinch cayenne pepper
1 1/2 Tbs peanut oil (I use olive)

Heat over to 250. spread seeds out on non stick surface and bake until dry, about 1 hour. Combine 3 Tbs sugar and spices in bowl. Heat peanut oil in large non stick skillet over high heat. Add seeds and 2 TBS sugar. Cook and stir until sugar melts and starts to caramelize, about 49-60 seconds.

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God's Minute

October 23

Save Thy People and bless Thine inheritance.--Psalm 28:9

OUR gracious and kind Heavenly Father! We lift our hearts to Thee at dawn, though we painfully recognize and feel our unworthiness of Thy uncounted mercies which are new every morning and fresh every evening. We throw ourselves upon Thy clemency. Put Thy protecting hand, with its tender touch, upon our drooping heads, and though we venture not to look up, may we hear Thy reassuring and forgiving voice. Here we are grouped together at the foot of Thy cross, because we know Thou hast room for us all in Thy great yearning heart. We long for Thy tender caress and Thy smile of forgiveness. Put about us Thy everlasting mighty arms, and carry us safely through this day. As we take up life's business afresh and hasten out into the wild hurry of the world, be Thou ever near us. Be Thou our traveling companion. We need Thy presence every passing moment. For the gift of Thy Son, our adorable Christ, we thank Thee, O God. He brought eternal calm to our surging hearts, and made our sin-tattered lives to rejoice. Give us a new vision of Him as we toil this day. May we see the rift in the clouds as we look up to behold Him. Soften our hearts, direct our thoughts, steady our step, and shelter us by Thy care until our traveling days are done, we humbly ask in Jesus' name.


Rev. F. W. Mueller,
Cleveland, Ohio

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Fall Fun Fest

My dear friend from Down Under, MissM asks:

How did it go?

It was wonderful!

Did it rain?

Not until the very, very end of the scavenger hunt. Which ended just before 5:30. Seriously. Ask anyone.

Did the children have fun?

We had a great turn out and it couldn't've been more fun! I think the parents had fun, too!

What games did you play?

Guess how many candy corns are in the jar.
A hard boiled egg on a spoon around the leaf bags relay
A walk backwards toe to heel around the leaf bags relay
A pumpkin spitting contest
A scavenger hunt (which included 40 hidden dog biscuits--only 17 were found. The squirrels will be busy!)
bobbing for apples (I forgot all about it once it started raining and we didn't remember until the kids were all washed up and ready for supper. The apples are still out in the back yard, floating in cold water)
Emptied the leaf bags, scattered them everywhere, and rolled around in the leaves

What food did you eat?

Hot dogs
apple cider
lemon bars
brown sugar spice cookies (They were delicious, Sue. They make a lot and I still have half the recipe to bake, too!)
pumpkin bread
toasted pumpkin seeds (recipe forthcoming)

What was the funniest thing that happened?

It had to be the pumpkin spitting contest! We had to do more than one round because the kids wanted to keep spitting!

I think we tired them out!

I'm sure they tired me out!

Setting the record straight

Now that I've had my doggy fun with D. H. Lawrence's poem, Dreams, I thought it time to share the REAL poem with you. Lawrence was a controversial man in his day. I wonder what he would think of my mischievous use of his poem. I think he'd enjoy it, considering his " tendency to ascribe human emotions to animals and even inanimate objects."


All people dream, but not equally.
Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind,
Wake in the morning to find that it was vanity.

But the dreamers of the day are dangerous people,
For they dream their dreams with open eyes,
And make them come true.

Poem by: D.H.Lawrence

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God's Minute

October 22

My tongue shall speak of Thy righteousness and praise.--Ps. 35:28

OUR Heavenly Father, we rejoice in Thy love. The knowledge of Thy love for us casts out all our fear as we approach Thee in prayer. Thy love has redeemed us, and moment by moment we are kept by the power of Thy love. That we may glorify Thee, help us to be kind and courteous and honest in all the relations of life. Give us the mind that was in Christ Jesus. Help us with open eye to see the truth, and with open heart to receive it, and grant us grace in all things to do Thy holy will. We thank Thee, Heavenly Father, that Thou hast supplied all our needs. We have wanted for no good thing. We confidently trust Thee for the future. We put our all in Thy hands, knowing Thou wilt never fail us. Be about our homes and loved ones today. Beat back all that disturbs human peace and mars human happiness. Deliver us from all evil.

Bless and prosper the cause of Christ our Saviour in the Church and throughout the world. Bring many today, by the way of the cross, into Thy Kingdom. Save the lost. We ask all this, with the forgiveness of our sins, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.


Rev. Charles Henry Pinchbeck
Baltimore, Maryland

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt: Dreaming

All dogs dream, but not equally.
Those who dream by night in the coziness of their crates,
Wake in the morning to find that they are mischievous.

But the dreamers of the day are 'dangerous' dogs,
For they dream their dreams as plots and schemes,
And make them come true.

--Kim from Hiraeth, by way of D. H. Lawrence

Theme: Dreaming

Next week's theme is Safe.

**Yes, you've seen this photo more than once, but I like it and I can't promise I won't post it again if the opportunity presents itself!**

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Quote of the Week

"When you come to worship, take heed that you do not come in your own strength, for there is more required in sanctifying the name of God than your strength is able to carry you on in. And therefore, act your faith upon Jesus Christ every time you come to worship God"

Jeremiah Burroughs,
Gospel Worship

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Like quotes? Kim from the Upward Call has a Quotable Quote from John MacArthur this morning.

God's Minute

October 21

The fruit of the Spirit is live, joy, faith. --Galatians 5:22

OUR Heavenly Father, we turn to Thee in gratitude for Thy goodness, and in loving dependence upon Thy grace. Thou art our shield, our strength, our guide. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Thou dost forgive our sins. We trust in Thee alone. Our feeble strength can give no security in temptation, nor firmness in trial. We humbly pray for Thy sustaining grace today. May Thy companionship transform our daily tasks and make our weakness strong.

Grant to us hearts of compassion for the sorrowing, tempted, hopeless ones whose lives shall touch ours today. May we follow our Saviour in helpful ministry, and may His Spirit go out from us to lead men unto Him Who alone can bless.

May Thy Holy Spirit enable us to set ourseves firmly against the evils which destroy the souls of men, and do our part of the work that is needed for the coming of Thy Kingdom. Help us to be faithful and true in thought, word and deed, that we may not add to the sum of the world's evil, but my purify and enlighten all the life about us.

These things we ask in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.


Robert E. Vinson, D.D.,
Austin, Texas

Friday, October 20, 2006

Potato Fest 2006: A recipe

DYI “Cook Shanty” Fried Potatoes

(also known as “vacation potatoes”—inspired by Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty, Minocqua, Wisconsin)

When on vacation in the North Woods of Wisconsin, as soon as you get to the cabin, bake potatoes—one for each day of vacation, wrapped in foil in the oven 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Remove from oven and cool, keeping them wrapped in foil on counter until ready to fix breakfast.

In the morning, fry two pieces of bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and drain. Pour off most of the bacon grease. Dice up one potato (per day, skin on) and add it to hot pan. Once the potato starts to brown, add finely diced onion and green pepper and cook along with the potatoes. Salt lightly and add lots of pepper. Crumble the bacon and add back to the pan. If you need more oil, add a bit of olive oil or butter, not more bacon grease. When the potatoes are very brown and crisp, serve them up with scrambled eggs and a slice of toast on the deck overlooking the woods. Eat fast because it’s cold up there in Wisconsin on September mornings!

Makes two servings.

(Do not make them again until it is hubby’s birthday, at which time they are then called Birthday Breakfast potatoes.)

Check out Rebecca's newest installment of Potato Fest 2006 for some more potato facts and some interesting recipes. Ever had a lefse? Me either, but I'm intrigued.

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Forecast for Tomorrow

Tomorrow's forecast is calling for rain. I don't want it to rain tomorrow. My Sunday School class is coming tomorrow for a fall party. The donuts are ordered. The eggs are busily hard boiling in the kitchen. The games are almost ready. The pumpkins will be soon be cut open and seeds will soon be seasoned and toasted. Apples are ready to be bobbed. Prizes have been purchased.

Pray that the rain will hold off until after about 5:30 pm.

Got him

Armed with the proper tool this time, (a tissue) he didn't stand a chance.

Now the only question that remains is this: How long will it take for me to stop looking for his brothers and sisters?

(For all of you who are thinking about dear Charlotte about now, I assure you that spiders who live outside my house are not a threat to me, nor am I a threat to them. But inside the house? They are fair game.)

Early morning visitor

I was sitting in front of my computer screen this morning, sipping coffee, cruising through my bloglines when all of a sudden, I had a little visitor lowering himself down in front of the screen. He wasn't a very big spider, but he was a spider, nonetheless. A light colored, smallish, bulbous variety known in our house as a "booger" spider. I don't like spiders.

I grabbed the closest thing--a post it note--and tried to "capture" him. He escaped and is now lurking somewhere amidst my books; hiding out, waiting to catch me by surprise again.

He doesn't know who he's up against.

Psalm 119: Your Word is Truth


9 How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word.
10 With my whole heart I have sought You;
Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
11 Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O LORD!
Teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I have declared
All the judgments of Your mouth.
14 I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
16 I will delight myself in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.

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God's Minute

October 20

Believe ye that I am able to do this? -- Matthew 9:28

O GOD, our Heavenly Father, we give Thee thanks for all that makes Thee known to us, and for all the good things that Thou hast given us. We praise Thee that our household has once more been preserved to meet in health and to join in common thanksgiving unto Thee, the Most Holy God, the Eternal Providence.

We pray Thee to forgive all our sins, and to cleanse our hearts by the inspiration of Thy Holy Spirit. Accompany us into the duties of each day, and give us strength for every need.

Preserve us from all danger, defend us from all error of heart, deliver us out of every temptation, save us from murmuring against our lot or grieving over our losses, save us from envy and pride, from hate and untruth, from waste of time and excessive pleasure, and from all worldliness. May we be diligent in business, fervent in spirit, serving Thee, our Lord. We pray Thee in behalf of our neighbors and friends. May both we and they be blest in our mutual intercourse. Bless the poor and needy, the sick and desolate and defenseless, and bring back the lost ones to Thy home and heart.

We ask it all in the name of Thy dear Son, our Saviour and Lord.


W. T. G. Brown, B.A., B.D.,
Toronto, Canada

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thursday Photo Challenge: Dark

God's Minute

October 19

The God of love and peace shall be with you. --2 Corinthians 13:11

OUR Father in Heaven, Thou Who carest for all the families of the earth, grant to this family a consciousness of Thy presence and love. May we be ever careful lest by word or deed we bring dishonor to Thy matchless name. Follow us as we go to the tasks of today. May we be strong in Thy strength; courageous because of Thy promises; and humble, in view of our constant dependence upon Thee.

May the Angel of the Lord encamp round about the absent ones; guard them from evil, and inspire them for service. Give us all hearts of pity for those who are in need, sympathy for the weak, and willingness to lift up the fallen. Forbid that we should be content with our own plenty, or proud in our own accomplishments, but as children may we ever be anxious for the glory of our Father's name, and thankful for His care. Forgive us for that wherein we have failed; forgive us for willfulness and downright sin.

When the great homecoming takes place, and we are in the Father's house, may every member of this family be among "the multitude that no man can number," serving Thee as we cannot here. This we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Saviour.


Reverand J. R. Webb,
Peterborough, Ont., Canada

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

God's Minute

October 18

The prayer of the upright is His delight.--Proverbs 15:8

LORD, teach us how to pray; for we know not how to pray as we ought. Thou hast bidden us in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, to make our requests known unto Thee. Thou hast given us so many wonderful promises in respect of prayer that we cannot but believe that prayer is the open way between us and Thee.

Thou art our Father, and we trust Thee and know that Thou canst never contradict Thy love for us as manifested in the coming and living and dying of our Lord Jesus Christ. How shalt Thou not with Him freely give us all things? No withholding or even denial of our requests can make us doubt Thee. And then we remember that Thy "No" is just as real an answer to prayer as Thy "Yes," as when Thou didst say to Moses and Paul "No"; and yet, later, how wonderfully Thou didst answer those seemingly unanswered prayers.

Be Thou our light in darkness; our comfort in sorrow; our wisdom when we are perplexed; our strength when we are in weakness. Our desire is to be used of Thee. We do not want to be idle or unfruitful in Thy service, even when limited in our opportunities. Grant this our prayer, O Father, for Jesus' sake.


George F. Pentecost, D.D., LL.D.,

Philadelphia, Penna.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

God's Minute

October 17

Follow after righteousness, godliness, faith.-- 1 Timothy 6:11

OUR Father, teach us how to speak to Thee. May Thy Spirit lead us into the light, for we know so little about Thee and are so dull and slow to learn. Wilt Thou forgive us when we do wrong, and keep us from going away from Thee. O Good Shepherd, the wilderness is so large, and we are weak and so easily lose our way. Keep us from the wild beasts of sin, and may we never miss the path that leads to Thy fold.

Bless our home today, and all who are in it. May we always be gentle and loving, and seek to make all about us happy. Help us to have a shining face, and especially when we meet Thy other children who are sad and in trouble. Teach us to do as Jesus did when He forgot all about Himself trying to help others.

We thank Thee for all the good and beautiful things Thou art giving us every day. We pray Thee to help us to help Thee to make Thy world good and happy.

And this we ask in the name of our Elder Brother, Christ Who loved us and gave Himself for us.


Charles R. Flanders, D.D.,
London, Ont., Canada

Monday, October 16, 2006

Some Potato Trivia

A quick Google search yielded some interesting facts about potatoes:

Peru's Inca Indians were the first to cultivate potatoes around 200 B.C. The potatoes they grew ranged in size from a small nut to an apple, and in colors from red and gold to blue and black. The Incas also used potatoes to measure time - correlating units of time by how long it took potatoes to cook.

The Spanish conquistadors discovered the potato in 1537 in the Andean village of Sorocota. They took potatoes with them on their return trip to Europe, where it had a difficult time being accepted. The potato, a member of the nightshade family, was considered by many to be poisonous or evil. With the help of Prussia's King Frederick William, France's Antoine-August Parmentier, and England's Sir Walter Raleigh - who introduced the potato to Ireland, the potato was soon popularized throughout Europe.

The first potatoes arrived in North America in 1621 when Captain Nathaniel Butler, then Governor of Bermuda, sent two large cedar chests containing potatoes and other vegetables to Francis Wyatt, Governor of Virginia at Jamestown.

It reputedly took seven transatlantic crossings before the potato gained acceptance in America. In fact, the potato did not really become popular until discovered by Benjamin Franklin. While ambassador to France, he attended a banquet hosted by Parmentier at which the potato was served 20 different ways. Franklin returned to America singing the praises of the potato as the ultimate vegetable. Americans followed the lead of trendsetting Franklin, and soon the potato was being cultivated in the colonies and in remote regions of the western frontier.

French fries were introduced to Americans when President Thomas Jefferson served them at the White House.

Potato chips were invented by mistake. The year was 1853, and Railroad Magnate Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt was dining at a fashionable resort in Saratoga Springs, New York. He sent his fried potatoes back to the kitchen complaining they were too thick. To spite his haughty guest, Chef George Crum sliced some potatoes paper thin, fried them in hot oil, and salted them. To everyone's surprise, Vanderbilt loved his "Saratoga Crunch Chips", and potato chips have been popular ever since.

The largest potato grown was 18 pounds and 4 ounces according to the Guinness Book of World Records. It was grown in England in 1795.

A potato is about 80% water and 20% solid.

The average American eats 132.7 pounds of potatoes a year, or over 365 potatoes per person per year - that's an average of more than one potato a day. Germans eat more than 200 pounds per year.

Potatoes are a powerful aphrodisiac, says a physician in Ireland.

The potato is the second most consumed food in the United States - trailing only after milk products.

Contrary to a common misconception, potatoes are not high in calories. One medium sized potato contains 110 calories, while a one-cup serving of rice has 225 calories, and a cup of pasta has 155 calories.

Potatoes are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. One medium sized potato has fewer calories than a grapefruit, more potassium than a banana, and more usable iron than any other vegetable. Potatoes are also high in fiber, and loaded with complex carbohydrates. And best of all, potatoes are fat-free.

"And best of all, potatoes are fat-free"--hmmm. . .not the way I fix them!

You can read more potato trivia here and here.

This is my "one potato, two potato, three potato, FOUR(th) entry in Rebecca's Potato Fest 2006. Will there be five potato, six potato, seven potato MORE entries? Stay tuned and see.

God's Minute

October 16

Believe that ye shall receive, and ye shall have.—Mark 11:24

OUR Father in Heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ, Whom having not seen we love, we draw near to Thee in prayer.

We are unworthy of Thy many mercies, for we have sinned against Thee, but we know Thou wilt not despise the humble and contrite heart.

We thank Thee for life and its sustenance; for home, with all it comforts; for our loved ones and friends; and above all, for Jesus, Who loved us and gave Himself for us. May we be enabled to follow in His footsteps, doing as He would have done, speaking as He would have spoken, and denying ourselves that others may be blessed.

Bless to us Thy Holy Word. Enable us to live according to its divine teaching. In all our intercourse with our fellow men, give us grace to be patient, forgiving, loving and kind, and to influence others for good. Forgive us our many sins, and keep us by Thy almighty power through faith unto salvation.

We ask everything in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, our adorable Redeemer.


William H. Scott
Philadelphia, Penna.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday Hymn

Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder

Let us love and sing and wonder, let us praise the Savior’s name.
He has hushed the law’s loud thunder; He has quenched Mount Sinai’s flame.
He has washed us with His blood; He has brought us nigh to God.

Let us love the Lord Who bought us, pitied us when enemies;
Called us by His grace and taught us, gave us ears and gave us eyes.
He has washed us with His blood; He presents our souls to God.

Let us sing though fierce temptation, threaten hard to bear us down;
For the Lord, our strong salvation, holds in view the conqu’ror’s crown.
He, Who washed us with His blood, soon will bring us home to God.

Let us wonder grace and justice, join and point to mercy’s store;
when through grace in Christ our trust is justice smiles and asks no more.
He, Who washed us with His blood, has secured our way to God.

Let us praise and join the chorus of the saints enthroned on high;
here they trusted Him before us now their praises fill the sky.
Thou hast washed us with Thy blood; Thou art worthy Lamb of God.

--John Newton,1774

God's Minute

October 15

Follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace.—2 Timothy 2:22

ALMIGHTY GOD, our gracious Heavenly Father, we, Thy needy children, would draw near to Thee. We come with confidence, for Thou hast already manifested Thy interest in us this day. Thou hast raised us from rest in slumber, and so given us a new opportunity to do Thy will.

Add, we beseech Thee, to these evidences of Thy favor, all needed goodness and mercy; goodness to provide for our ever-returning wants of body and soul; mercy to pardon our past transgressions, and to protect us against future temptations. Grant us also grace this day to manifest the Spirit of Jesus Christ in all we shall think, and say, and do.

Show Thy loving favor to all who are near and dear to us. Guide, we pray Thee, all who occupy positions of authority and trust in Church, in State, in industry, in education, in society, and in the home. Hasten, O God, the time when every knee shall bow in the name of Jesus, and every tongue shall confess Him as Lord. These blessings, and whatever else Thou seest we shall need this day, we ask through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Saviour.


Lewis Seymour Mudge, D.D.,
Harrisburg, Pa.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt: Lost

Quote of the Week

This week's quote of the week was sent to me by my pastor.

"For my own part, I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await others. I believe that many who find that "nothing happens" when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand'"

--C. S. Lewis, from a preface he wrote for a translation of Athanasius' The Incarnation of the Word of God

I don't study with a pipe in my teeth, but I do read with a pencil in my hand and have often been moved to joy or tears when the light dawns on "a tough bit of theology" with which I've been wrangling. I know many of you feel the same.

Seeing the cup of tea at his elbow, I can't resist sharing another of my favorite C. S. Lewis quotes:

"You can't get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

I can relate to both quotes, can't you? (And don't you love the look on his face?)

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God's Minute

October 14

Pray without ceasing.--1 Thessalonians 5:17

OUR blessed Saviour, Who dost dwell in our hearts by faith, grant us such a clear consciousness of Thine indwelling that each may be able to say, "I live, and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me." Show us that our interests and Thine are one. Enable us so to surrender ourselves to Thee that Thou mayest work in us both to will and to work for Thy good pleasure. Establish Thy rule over every part of our nature. Subdue our passions and energies to Thy Will. In Thy light may we see our faults and failures, and, as they are revealed, do Thou remove them, and finish in us the work Thou hast begun. Grant us grace today to let Christ live out His lfe in us. May He so possess our spirits and so govern our lives, that men, beholding us, may think of Him; listening to us, may hear His message; and in fellowship with us, may feel the influence of His Spirit. Keep up from stifling the voice within. Keep us from becoming so engrossed with our worldly pursuits that we lose sight of the Christ Who reigns in our souls, and Who is our very life. Lord Jesus, make us Thine instruments, prepare us for Thy service, and use us as Thou wilt for the fulfilment of Thy purposes. Then grant us the joy of Thine approval. For Thine own Name's sake.


George C. Pidgeon, D. D.,
Toronto, Canada.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Fall activity ideas

Next Saturday, the 21st, we will be hosting a Fall Fun day here at our house for my 3rd-5th grade Sunday School students. (There are about 14 or 15 students in all--mostly boys) It's just a chance for them to get together and have fun outside of Sunday School. We're planning the typical menu: Hot dogs, chips, apple cider and donuts.

Here's your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

I could really use some suggestions for some fun outdoor games. I am planning an obstacle course/maze of some sort using bags of leaves and several relay races. Bobbing for apples is a no brainer. But I need at least one activity that doesn't include running and chasing and racing because one of my students is in a wheel chair. Stef can definitely navigate a maze but I am hoping to find some other fall activities in which she can participate fully. The kids will only be here about 2 hours and part of that time will be taken up in eating, but I want to make sure I have enough to keep them busy!

Any and all suggestions will be most appreciated. You can leave them in the comments or send them via email.

Psalm 119: Your Word is Truth

Psalm 119


1 Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the LORD!
2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
3 They also do no iniquity;
They walk in His ways.
4 You have commanded us
To keep Your precepts diligently.
5 Oh, that my ways were directed
To keep Your statutes!
6 Then I would not be ashamed,
When I look into all Your commandments.
7 I will praise You with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
8 I will keep Your statutes;
Oh, do not forsake me utterly!

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Thursday Photo Challenge: Glass