Saturday, October 31, 2009

Her ways are ways of gentleness

I vow to thee, my country

Words: Cecil Arthur Spring-Rice (1859-1918)

I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love:
the love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
that lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
the love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
the love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,
most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
we may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
and soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
and her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.


A country parable of brotherly love

A cowboy, who just moved to Wyoming from Texas, walks into a bar and orders three mugs of beer. He sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.

The bartender approaches and tells the cowboy, "You know, a mug goes flat after I draw it. It would taste better if you bought one at a time."

The cowboy replies, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Arizona, the other is in Colorado. When we all left our home in Texas, we promised that we'd drink this way to remember the days when we drank together. So I'm drinking one beer for each of my brothers and one for myself."

The bartender admits that this is a nice custom, and leaves it there.

The cowboy becomes a regular in the bar, and always drinks the same way. He orders three mugs and drinks them in turn.

One day, he comes in and only orders two mugs. All the regulars take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss."

The cowboy looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns in his eyes and he laughs.

"Oh, no, everybody's just fine," he explains, "It's just that my wife and I joined the Baptist Church and I had to quit drinking."

"Hasn't affected my brothers though."


Smile! :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dinosaur oops!

Caption: The real reason why the dinosaurs went extinct!

Commentary: Your day is not as bad as you think it is! The Ark hasn't sailed without you, whatever else has gone on today... so celebrate: you are not too late, your destiny is right on time, your call is waiting! :-)


Cracker gospel

A Florida Cracker was stopped by a game warden because he had two ice chests full of fish. He was leavin' a local lake, well-known for its fishing.

The game warden asked him, 'Do you have a license to catch those fish?' 'Nah, sir', replied the Cracker. 'I ain't got one a’ them thyar licenses. I don’ nayed a license, cause these hyar are my pet fiyush.'

'Pet fish?'

'Yeah. Pet fiyush! Evr’y night, ah’ take these hyar fiyush down to mah’ lake and jus’ let 'em swiyum aroun' for awhile. Then, when ah’ whistle, they jump ryaht back into these hyar coolahs an' I take 'em home.'

'That's a bunch of hooey! Fish can't do that.'

The Cracker looked at the warden for a moment and then said, 'It's da Gospel truth, Mr. Gov’mint Man. I'll show ya. It really works.'

'O. K.', said the warden. 'I've got to see this!'

The Cracker poured the fish into the lake and stood and waited. After several minutes, the warden says, 'Well?'

'Wayell, what?', says the Cracker.

The warden says, 'When are you going to call them back?'

'Call who bayck?'

'The FISH', replied the warden!

'What fiyush?' replied the Cracker.

Moral of the story: We may not be as smart as some city slickers, but we ain't as dumb as some government employees.

You can say what you want about the South, but how often do you hear of someone retiring and moving north?


Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Florida evening light show

Here, on the Florida prairie, the rays of the setting sun split into pink and blue, an infinite candlepower lightshow of exquisite beauty... a moment in time, a moment of worship and Creator love! Enjoy!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Trust Him like the little ones He feeds

Behold the lilies of the field

Words: Cecilia M Caddell (1813-1877)
Tune: Flora

Behold the lilies of the field,
they neither toil nor sow;
yet God does all things needful yield
that they may live and grow.

Not Solomon in glory shone
like one of these poor flowers,
that look to God and God alone
for sunshine and for showers.

And does His mercy value less
the offspring of His grace?
And will a Father's love not bless
the child that seeks His face?

He is our Father, and He knows
His earthly children's need:
on all our daily wants and woes
He looks with careful heed.

O then away with fear and care
for all that may betide;
and turn to God in trustful prayer,
and in His love confide.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why stagger at this word of promise?

By grace I'm saved, grace free and boundless

Words: Christian L Scheidt (1709-1761)

By grace I'm saved, grace free and boundless;
My soul, believe and doubt it not.
Why stagger at this word of promise?
Hath scripture ever falsehood taught?
No! then this word must true remain:
By grace thou, too, shalt heaven obtain.

By grace! None dare lay claim to merit;
Our works and conduct have no worth.
God in His love sent our Redeemer,
Christ Jesus, to this sinful earth;
His death did for our sins atone
And we are saved by grace alone.

By grace! O, mark this word of promise
When thou art by thy sins oppressed,
When Satan plagues thy troubled conscience
And when thy heart is seeking rest.
What reason cannot comprehend
God by His grace to thee doth send.

By grace! This ground of faith is certain;
So long as God is true, it stands.
What saints have penned by inspiration,
What in His word our God commands,
What our whole faith must rest upon,
Is grace alone, grace in His Son.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

But with my God I leave my cause

Though trouble springs not from the dust

Words: Scottish Paraphrases (1781)

Though trouble springs not from the dust,
nor sorrow from the ground;
Yet ills on ills, by Heav'n's decree,
in man's estate are found.
As sparks in close succession rise,
so man, the child of woe,
Is doom'd to endless cares and toils
through all his life below.

But with my God I leave my cause;
from Him I seek relief;
To Him, in confidence of pray'r,
unbosom all my grief.
Unnumber'd are His wondrous works,
unseachable His ways;
'Tis His the mourning soul to cheer,
the bowed down to raise.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Prophetic hyperbole

Defending against the Bible

Soren Kierkegaard

The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world?

Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church's prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you?


Saturday, October 03, 2009

A birthday blessing -- faith!

Thank you, Amber! You blessed me so much with your special card... and I love the faith remembrance! I now have one on my office desk and at home, thanks to you! :-)

And, a very special thank you to each one of you who made the huge surprise party a success. You could have knocked me over w. a feather! You pulled it off... and Joyce with the veggie cake! Oh my goodness: who would've thunk it? And the cake w. my picture on it... a work of art! I never would have imagined such works of art, and each card and gift were simply perfect. THANK YOU, all!

I love you all, and bless you! :-)

Write thy new name upon my heart

O for a heart to praise my God

Words: Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
Tune: Abridge, Arlington

O for a heart to praise my God,
A heart from sin set free,
A heart that always feels thy blood
So freely spilt for me;

A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
My great redeemer's throne,
Where only Christ is heard to speak,
Where Jesus reigns alone;

A humble, lowly, contrite heart,
Believing, true, and clean;
Which neither life nor death can part
From him that dwells within;

A heart in every thought renewed,
And full of love divine;
Perfect, and right, and pure, and good,
A copy, Lord, of thine!

My heart, thou know'st, can never rest
Till thou create my peace:
Till of mine Eden repossest,
From self, and sin, I cease.

Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart;
Come quickly from above,
Write thy new name upon my heart,
Thy new, best name of love.