Monday, November 26, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

My mother expresses her artistry in crafts and cooking... and Christmas decorations! In Advent and Christmas, the house is a winter wonderland of love. And, don't worry, I'll share! :-) Enjoy!

Friday, November 23, 2007

A song for Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you!

O 'twas a joyful sound to hear

Words: Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady, 1698
Tune: Mount Sion

O 'twas a joyful sound to hear
our tribes devoutly say,
up, Israel! to the temple haste,
and keep your festal day.
at Salem's courts we must appear,
with our assembled powers,
in strong and beauteous order ranged,
like her united towers.

O ever pray for Salem's peace;
for they shall prosperous be,
thou holy city of our God,
who bear true love to thee.
May peace within thy sacred walls
a constant guest be found;
with plenty and prosperity
thy palaces be crowned.

For my dear brethren's sake, and friends
no less than brethren dear,
I'll pray: May peace in Salem's towers
a constant guest appear.
But most of all I'll seek thy good,
and ever wish thee well,
for Zion and the temple's sake,
where God vouchsafes to dwell!


A song from Psalm 122, written in the 17th century, still apt today... blessings be upon Jerusalem and all who love her truly!

A light that lightens sage and savage

The grace and responsibility of the Light

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. John 3:19

I therefore go on to say that it does not follow, because light has come into the world, that it has fallen upon this or that man. He has his portion of light that lighteth every person, but the revelation of God in Christ may not have reached him.

…Everyone who has not yet come to the light is not necessarily keeping his face turned away from it.

We dare not say that this or that man would not have come to the light had he seen it. We do not know that he will not come to the light the moment he does see it.

God gives every man time. There is a light that lightens sage and savage, but the glory of God in the face of Christ may not have shined on this particular sage or that particular savage. The condemnation falls, rather, on those who having seen Jesus, refuse to come to Him, or pretend to come to Him but do not the things that He says. They have all sorts of excuses at hand. But as soon as a man begins to make excuse, the time has come when he might be doing that from which he excuses himself.

How many are there, who, believing that there is somewhat or something of this claim of light upon them, go on and on to get more out of the darkness! This consciousness, all neglected by them, gives ground to the Lord’s words: You will not come unto me that you might have life!


George MacDonald, “Light,” Unspoken Sermons, Third series.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A November van gogh

Surely God is the ultimate painter -- real or surreal, abstract or primitive, impressionistic or expressionistic: all earthly masters learn from Him... acknowledged or unacknowledged, the proof is in nature's glory! Here, late autumn trees lean out over a November stream, forming a layered painting on liquid canvas... the floating leaves add dimension and texture and the sky adds its background hue... masterpiece of the moment, undeniable clue of Creator! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lord of beauty, bid us own thee

Lord of beauty, thine the splendor

Words: Cyril A. Alington

Tune: St. Audrey

Lord of beauty, thine the splendor
shown in earth and sky and sea,
burning sun and moonlight tender,
hill and river, flower and tree:
lest we fail our praise to render
touch our eyes that they may see.

Lord of wisdom, whom obeying
mighty waters ebb and flow,
while unhasting, undelaying,
planets on their courses go:
in thy laws thyself displaying,
teach our minds thyself to know.

Lord of life, alone sustaining
all below and all above,
Lord of love, by whose ordaining
sun and stars sublimely move:
in our earthly spirits reigning,
lift our hearts that we may love.

Lord of beauty, bid us own thee,
Lord of truth, our footsteps guide,
till as Love our hearts enthrone thee,
and, with vision purified,
Lord of all, when all have known thee,
thou in all art glorified!


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

November lights

How does the Divine Artist paint? What brush does He use, and what palette? And how does He turn the seasons into a symphony of praise -- grass, leaves and sky, meeting of light and shadow, dark blue and purple, rusty orange, pink and red? Starlight, moonlight, human lights... all are called to praise in such a time as this, all masterfully brushed on the canvas by the Author of all true art! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Armed and dangerous... in praise, that is!

A gift from Kenton and Sonya Shaw – a fun gift with a serious point!
And, accompanied by an epic poem, no less... :-)
Read the poem below to get the point, and smile and ponder! :-)

Prologue: A life-foundation of praise

Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand... Psalm 149:6

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel... Psalm 22:3

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15

By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother's womb. My praise shall be continually of You. Psalm 71:6

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Psalm 34:1

My weapon

When someone moves from God’s country
To a deep and southern state
What is going to protect him?
And what will be his fate?

When Loy goes out in his backyard
To entertain some youth
Will it be hot dogs and burgers?
Or gators on the loose?

Well, if that should really happen
It would ruin all the fun
So here’s a “Ballistic Pistol”
To put them on the run.

If you would fail at all of this
And the snakes and gators prevail,
Remember what Sonya told you:
“Praise God,” that never fails!

So “whatever” may distress you
And try you o’er and o’er,
You’re going to end up on the top
By praising more and more.

But, laying all the jokes aside
And looking at what’s true
While you go out and follow God
We’ll miss and pray for you!!

Carefully and prayerfully written by Your friends, Kenton and Sonya Shaw

Loy’s note: Wow! I’m impressed and humbled… thank you so much, G.K. and Sonya – very well received and greatly appreciated. Thank you and God bless you! Please keep me in your prayers…

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A salute to faithful veterans

How does one say thank you to someone who has given of that which no words can touch? And yet, I will say thank you! Thank you to all who have faithfully served, willing to go beyond mere self-definition in honor of a higher cause. God bless you... may you always know the rewards of being ever faithful! Happy Veterans Day!

Friday, November 09, 2007

A late autumn calling

I love it when the autumn mists come calling and evening light brushes the color-tinted hills! Every day is another moment of artistry, October to November... and then we have Advent! Perhaps it is no surprise that autumn is my favorite season and Christmas my favorite holiday, lol... Enjoy the beauty, and smile with me today!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The divinity of your task

A mystery of calling

“Come here,” said the Lion. And she had to. She was almost between its paws now, looking straight into its face. But she couldn’t stand that for long; she dropped her eyes.

“Human Child,” said the Lion, “Where is the Boy?”

“He fell over the cliff,” said Jill, and added, “Sir.” She didn’t know what else to call him, and it sounded cheek to call him nothing.

“How did he come to do that, Human Child?”

“He was trying to stop me from falling, Sir.”

“Why were you so near the edge, Human Child?”

“I was showing off, Sir.”

“That is a very good answer, Human Child. Do so no more (and here, for the first time, the Lion’s face became a little less stern) “The Boy is safe. I have blown him to Narnia. But your task will be harder because of what you have done.”

“Please, what task, Sir?” said Jill.

“The task for which I called you and him here, out of your own world.”

This puzzled Jill very much. “It’s mistaking me for someone else,” she thought. She didn’t dare tell the Lion this, though she felt things would get into a dreadful muddle unless she did.

“Speak your thought, Human Child,” said the Lion.

“I was wondering – I mean – could there be some mistake? Because nobody called me and Scrubb, you know. It was we who asked to come here. Scrubb said we were to call to – to Somebody – it was a name I wouldn’t know – and perhaps the Somebody would let us in. And we did, and then we found the door open.”

“You would not have called to me unless I had been calling to you,” said the Lion.

“Then you are Somebody, Sir?” said Jill.

“I am,” said He. “And now hear your task…”


C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair, 18-19.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What do I owe to Christ, my Lord, my King?

What do I owe? Nay, Lord, what do I not?

Words: John Oxenham, 1924
Tune: Ellers

What do I owe? Nay, Lord, what do I not?
All that I am and all that I have got.
All that I am and that how small a thing
compared with all thy goodly fostering.

What do I owe to all the world around?
To set thee first, that grace may more abound.
To set thee first, to hold thee all in all,
and, come what may, to follow thy high call.

What do I owe to this dear land of ours?
All of my best, my time, my thought, my powers.
All of my best is yet to small to give,
that this our land may to thine increase live.

What do I owe to those who follow on?
To build more sure the freedom we have won.
To build more sure the Kingdoms of thy grace,
Kingdoms secure in truth and righteousness.

What do I owe to Christ, my Lord, my King?
That all my life be one sweet offering.
That all my life to noblest heights aspire,
that all I do be touched with holy fire!


Sunday, November 04, 2007

He turns the shadow of death into morning

God understands the way – seek Him!

God understands the way thereof, and He knows the place thereof. For He looks to the ends of the earth, and sees under the whole heavens, to establish a weight for the wind, and apportion the waters by measure.

Job 28:23-25

The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield!

Psalm 33:13-15, 18-20

O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions – this great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great. There the ships sail about; there is that Leviathan which You have made to play there. These all wait for You, that You may give them their food in due season. What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good. You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the earth.

May the glory of the LORD endure forever; May the LORD rejoice in His works. He looks on the earth, and it trembles; He touches the hills, and they smoke. I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the LORD!

Psalm 104:24-34

Seek Him that made the Pleiades and Orion; He turns the shadow of death into morning and makes the day dark as night; He calls forth the waters of the sea and pours them out on the face of the earth; The LORD is His name!

Amos 5:8


I have none other help but thee

I call on thee, Lord Jesus Christ

Words: Miles Coverdale (1487-1568)
Tune: Ich ruf zu dir

I call on thee, Lord Jesus Christ,
I have none other help but thee.
My heart is never set at rest
till thy sweet words have comforted me.
And steadfast faith grant me therefore,
to hold by thy word evermore,
above all things,
never resisting
but to increase in faith more and more.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

The power in the hem of His garment

As many as touched Him were made whole.

Mark 6:56, KJV

Just His touch…

Many of us try to have a regular quiet time. As we do so, may each of us touch at least the hem of His garment and receive wholeness in the matter for which we seek Him.

One knows when this has occurred. It is a day when something happens that is different from just reading our Bible or devotional book, or even just praying and asking for the thing.

We touch Him, and all is changed.

What happens? And who can tell how it happens?

We only know that something has passed from Him to us:

  • Courage to do the difficult task we feared.
  • Patience to bear with that one particular trying person.
  • Inner strength to go on when we were sure we could not.
  • A sweet freshness in our spirit, inner contentment, deep flowing peace.

God’s way of passing by, of letting His hem come near us, is to take some single word in His Book and make it breathe spirit and life to us. Then, relying upon that word – meditating, feeding our soul upon it – we find it is suddenly possible to go from strength to strength.

True, there is always some new, even daily challenge in our lives which calls for revitalized faith. And we can choose to go on with God. But He always passes by. There is always the word waiting in His Book, which will meet us where we are and carry us further on. True, it will be a fight to the end – Paul calls it the “good fight of faith” [1 Timothy 6:12]. But full provision is made for victory in that fight.

And so, whether the struggle that engages us has to do with our inner life, or our outward circumstances, there is nothing to fear: “For your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom” [Luke 12:32].

We need never, and by His grace shall never, be defeated!



My Father, I believe I see it now. I always want you to do something for me [or at least to clear the way, so I can do it for myself]. And you want to do something in me.

Now I see that you want to come with your word and your powerful Spirit, and splice them together with my words and spirit.

I have wanted answers. You want us to become one… Thank you, for your unending patience with me.


Amy Carmichael, Thou Givest – They Gather, 4-5.

Christ is our surety of redemption from law

Safety, fullness and sweet refreshment in Christ

But yet if the distressed trembling soul who is afraid of justice, would fly to Christ, He would be a safe hiding-place. Justice and the threatening of the law will have their course as fully, while the trembling soul is safe and untouched – just as if he or she had borne eternal justice. Christ bears the stroke of justice, and the curse of the law falls fully upon Him; Christ bears all that vengeance that belongs to the sin that has been committed by that person, and there is no need of its being borne twice over.

Christ’s temporal sufferings, by reason of the infinite dignity of His person, are fully equivalent to the eternal sufferings of a mere creature. And then His sufferings answer for the one who flees to Him as well as if they were that sinner’s own, for indeed they are his or her own by virtue of the union between Christ and them. Christ has made himself one with them; He is the head, and they are the members. Therefore, if Christ suffers for the believer, there is no need of his suffering; and what needs she to be afraid? Their safety is not only consistent with absolute justice, but it is consistent with the tenor of the law. The law leaves fair room for such a thing as the answering of a surety.

If the end of punishment in maintaining the authority of the law and the majesty of the government is fully secured by the sufferings of Christ as surety, then the law of God, according to the true and fair interpretation of it, has its course as much in the sufferings of Christ, as it would have in the sinner’s own sufferings. The threatening, “thou shalt surely die,” is properly fulfilled in the death of Christ, as it is fairly to be understood.

Therefore if those who are afraid will go to Jesus Christ, they need to fear nothing from the threatening of the law. The threatening of the law has nothing to do with them!


Jonathan Edwards, “Safety, Fullness, and Sweet Refreshment in Christ,” a sermon from Isaiah 32:2.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A giving of knowledge by taking knowledge away

So stuffed full of stuff that we cannot see

When a man has filled his mouth so full of food that for this reason he cannot eat and it must end with his dying of hunger [or eating himself to death], does giving food to him consist in stuffing his mouth even more or, instead, in taking a little away so that he can eat? Similarly, when a man is very knowledgeable but his knowledge is meaningless or virtually meaningless to him, does sensible communication consist in giving him more to know...or does it consist, instead, in taking something away from him? When a communicator takes a portion of the copious knowledge that the very knowledgeable man knows and communicates it to him in a form that makes it strange to him, the communicator is, as it were, taking away his knowledge, at least until the knower manages to assimilate the knowledge by overcoming the resistance of form.

Soren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments

Note: consider this prophetic insight in an age when all people, even the most dull of mind, have non-stop information -- a culture gorged on electronic info 24/7 and yet still so illiterate and non-seeing in spirit...