Quips and Quotes
"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Monday, September 27, 2010

My House Shall Be Called a House of Prayer

This video about prayer by Jim Cymbala, the pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, is one of those kind of exhortations that we all need to listen to and heed. I cannot stress to you enough, whoever you are, whatever you do, wherever you're going, the importance of listening to this message, inviting the Holy Spirit to humble you as you do. Please take out some time to be changed. Take some time to listen to Christ speak through this pastor. You cannot afford not to.

Note: The synchronization between audio and video on this clip is off. My advice would be to listen rather than watch. You'll be distracted if you watch.


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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Robed in His Unlimited Grace

Being broken and contrite over our sin before a holy God is the only place in creation where a sinner can be robed with the unmerited, unlimited, marvelous grace of God. This is where I have been now for some months and I've never been happier. God continues to put me there - by the Spirit of grace.

So I really understood the following prayer from the Valley of Vision. I found it posted on Tim Challies blog. All my praying, singing, serving, helping, etc. is still tainted with sin. I am always getting in the way and then running back to the throne to obtain yet more grace. This indescribable gift, only possible because of Christ's sacrifice for my sin never wears out, dries up, slows down, gets old, becomes impotent, fades, or diminishes in any other way.

Yes, my sin seems inexhaustible, but God's grace really is inexhaustible. My sin shouts at me but God's grace always has the last say. It's mine because of what Christ  has done. And I am able to grasp it every time I come with a contrite heart, broken before my Heavenly Father.

Here's the prayer from Valley of Vision:

    O God of Grace,

    You have imputed my sin to my substitute, and have imputed his righteousness to my soul, clothing me with a bridegroom’s robe, decking me with jewels of holiness. But in my Christian walk I am still in rags; my best prayers are stained with sin; my penitential tears are so much impurity; my confessions of wrong are so many aggravations of sin; my receiving the Spirit is tinctured with selfishness.

    I need to repent of my repentance; I need my tears to be washed; I have no robe to bring to cover my sins, no loom to weave my own righteousness; I am always standing clothed in filthy garments, and by grace am always receiving your change of raiment, for you always justify the ungodly; I am always going into the far country, and always returning home as a prodigal, always saying, “Father, forgive me,” and you are always bringing forth the best robe.

    Every morning let me wear it, every evening return in it, go out to the day’s work in it, be married in it, be wound in death in it, stand before the great white throne in it, enter heaven in it shining as the sun.

    Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, the exceeding wonder of grace.


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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Christ in My Kitchen

Today I offer a blessing for the kitchen. I found this poem on an old wall hanging at a thrift store. (Oh...the joys of thrifting!) I did edit it a little and added the last few verses. There was no name on the picture to identify its author.

But the poem reminds me why God has ordained the wonderful sphere of the home as the wife's occupation in life. What better place could we be? It is a heavenly and high calling. In the home, specifically the kitchen, godly women do the very work that God Himself has does. God feeds His people. We feed others. This is divine activity!

In the garden, God fed the man and woman He created; in fact, He created their food even before Adam and Eve were created. The LORD fed the children of Israel manna in the dessert. God kept the widow's jug of oil and jar of flour replenished for herself, her son and Elijah the prophet (1 Kings 17) during a time of famine.

During Jesus' earthly ministry He fed the multitudes (the first time there were 5000 men alone, not including women and children). On one of those occasions (John 6:1-14), Jesus used a young boy's five barley loaves and two small fish to feed upwards of 10,000 hungry people.

But besides physical food, God supplies His children with spiritual food. In the 23rd Psalm, our Shepherd leads us and feeds us (Psalm 23:1-2). Jesus told His followers, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst" (John 6:35).

Nourishing others with physical food from our kitchens opens to us the opportunity to nourish them spiritually as well - to introduce them to our dear Savior, the Bread of Life, who alone can satisfy the hungering soul. And that, my dear sisters, is what our kitchens are all about.

Feeding Others

Bless my little kitchen, Lord;
I love its every nook.
And bless me as I do my work,
Wash pots and pans and cook.

May the meals that I prepare
Be seasoned from above
With Your blessing and Your grace,
But most of all Your love.

As we partake of earthly food
The table You have spread,
We'll not forget to thank You, Lord
For all our daily bread.

Please bless my little kitchen, Lord
And those who enter here;
May they find Your joy and peace,
Through Christ the Savior dear.

For what I offer on each plate
Can only gratify
The temporary need one has -
T'will never satisfy.

But Jesus is the Bread of Life
It is the soul He feeds
He gives to every hungering heart
Himself, to meet the need.

"She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens." (Proverbs 31:15)

"I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst". (John 6:35)


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Friday, September 17, 2010

Grand Opening!

Several months ago I posted about a shop called Paris Flea Market. Today, for good reason I'm letting you know about a sister shop called A Room With a Past. I am happy to announce that I have set up shop there. I am just one of about 33 consignors. The offerings there include shabby chic, vintage cottage, and French country style furniture and accessories.
The store is only open four days each month. This month you can visit there from September 16th through the 19th (Thursday through Sunday). That means the store is open now! I'll be there tomorrow morning and early afternoon for my "shift" while the store is open.

Below are a few photos of my little space there. Come visit if you can!

I found the ballet pics at the top of the photo at a thrift shop - half price!
Some vintage baby face dolls and Paddington Bear.
A neighbor sold me these Raggedy dolls. They must be about 40-50 years old. I cleaned up the happy little couple, patched a few holes and sewed on some buttons. They're as good as vintage can get.
This piece started out as a very countrified little cabinet- an 80s look - not what I wanted. But some new medallions, some sanding, painting, and more sanding fitted it well for a shabby chic look.
A larger cabinet, a bride doll, a bird cage and lots more items welcome you into my little shop within a shop. Hope to see you there!

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Feminism and the Christian Woman

Concerning feminism's attempt to bring fulfillment and lasting happiness to women, Mary Kassian says it well in this video.

As a woman of more than sixty years now, I can remember (did I actually say that I can remember something?!) - yes, I remember - when the big push for feminism first made its case to women in the early 1970s. Even as woman who had not yet embraced Jesus Christ, I knew it was wrong.

Women began throwing off all restraints and boundaries -  bra burnings (bras were seen as an icon of restriction and conformity), bitterness toward men manifested outwardly, refusals to stay at home any longer with their children, resentment toward the traditional role of man leading and woman helping, a despising (that word is not at all too strong) of the menial work they did in the home (changing diapers, washing dishes, mopping floors), etc. This was an amazing time!

The only way I can explain the fact that I did not get caught up in this movement is the grace of God. He kept me from it. Later He saved me. But, the sad truth of the feminist movement is that most women, many of whom were my own college friends, were duped into believing something that was entirely false. They began to shape their worlds based on the lies of feminism. As a result many women gave up marriage and/or motherhood or waited until it was too late to have children. Even some of the most outspoken feminists from that time have now issued statements about their own ruined, bereft lives and the insatiable longings for mothering that persist till this day - longings that can never be satisfied.

God created woman and gave her innate desires and gifts. The greatest of these inner longings is for Christ. Until she has a soul-deep relationship with Him, she will never find the fulfillment she yearns for in this life. When she does embrace Jesus, and when He, in His great compassion and love, becomes her Lord, rather than empowering a world gone crazy to have that authority over her, she will happily receive His gift of womanhood for her.

Enough from me. Watch this video. And here is a link to what I believe is the very best resource for Biblical womanhood on the internet - Nancy Leigh DeMoss.


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Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Birthday Card from My Favorite Person (My BFF)

Today is my 61st birthday and I truly hope that the love of God has made me sweeter than when I was "sweet 16" (which, if you did not catch on, is 61 backwards). At that time, I did not know the Savior, who has turned my water into the very best of wine and has enriched my life with His indescribable love. Jesus has made me so very happy over the years.

One of the kindest things the Lord did for me after He redeemed me from a futile way of living, was to give me a wonderful man who has loved me now for 34 years (33 of those years married to this mench [that means "real man" in Yiddish, in case you didn't know]). Of those who walk this earth, Robert is my best friend...forever.

This morning my best friend gifted me with this darling birthday poem:

Happy birthday! Happy birthday, 
Baby! Oh, I love you so.
Sixty-one candles make a lovely light,
Especially when we lose the power
In the lonely night.

Blow out those candles,
May your wish come true.
If you ever need help
Remember you're married to a Jew,
And I can put in a good word for you.

You're only sixty-one
And, by golly, you're still lean.
Why you're the prettiest, loveliest girl
For your age that I've ever seen.

Sixty-one candles in my heart will glow;
Forever and ever I will love you so.
Happy birthday, happy birthday, Baby.
Oh, you drive me crazy.
I love you so.

Now you have to know that the lines in the third stanza are a long running joke between Robert and me - "Why you're the prettiest, loveliest girl for your age that I've ever seen." He always says this and I alway say, "For my age? Don't you know those are fighting words?" or something of that nature.

Anyway, I know what he means even if he can't help being a clown. That's just something that's in his blood. If you know Robert, you know exactly what I'm talking about. He's keeps things light and has had me in stitches since the day I met him.

Thank you, my dear Mr. Kaufman! You drive me crazy too - crazy in love that is! But that photo...oh! You should never again tell me that I cut your hair too short. You cropped off nearly all your tresses, Mr. K!


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Some Birthday Encouragement from My Dear Sister

While I'm at it, I might as well include the message I received in an e-card from Kate, my sister. BTW, for those of you who know me and my sister, be warned...she's MY sister, and I am the only one who can call her KATE. I'd better never hear any of you refer to MY sister as KATE or you'll have to deal with me.

Now that we got that out of the way, here's the kind and tender message Kate sent me via an e-card:
You are about to embark on another year, and as long as you sleep good at night, don't eat that nasty sugar, drink too much wine or wear yourself out trying to get that housework done, you can enjoy your life. Look at all you have to look forward to - more moles and hair, more wrinkles and varicose veins, more joint replacements and just when you think it can't get any better - memory loss. Of course, I am not really sure you have a memory anyway so that's probably better.

Your Old Sis, 
 Thank you, Kate! I'm so happy that I can look forward to living for eternity - and not in this body! Love you, Sis! 

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

You've Gotta Spend Some Time with Amy and A Fried Chicken Dinner Long Ago

 On Fridays I get a link to Tim Challies' blog post A La Carte. In these regular Friday posts, Tim lists several blogs that he enjoys for the rest of us to enjoy also. One blog he listed yesterday was Amy's Humble Musings.

I've heard of this blog before and even logged onto it, but yesterday was different. Yesterday I really connected with Amy for the first time when I read her post entitled How I Saved the Day, and Lost it, at the Same Time.

Now you may not appreciate this hilariously weird post. But I identified with it, having 8 chickens (Amy's post is about a calf) currently living in my backyard and having dealt with "pasty butt" when they were just wee ones and other such fun things since, and also having spent part of my childhood on a farm. (At this point I must warn you about what is detailed in the very next parenthesis in the very next paragraph. Though it was originally meant to be just a few sentences at best, it has taken on a life all its own as if it were a blog post in and of itself. Besides being longer than I ever intended, it is also somewhat nauseatingly gross in detail - farmyard blood-and-guts sort of thing. If you can live with that, read the following story of what a three-year-old girl [me] experienced on the farm. [Yes, you're right, I said that to hook you and draw you in.] Then read Amy's post - a like-kind of article for "dessert").

Here's the next parenthesis I warned you about: (The farm when I was three-years-old - that's where I saw my mom, live chicken in hand, instruct my older sister, Kate, to hold the chicken's head and body - one part in each of her two little 5 year-old hands - on the chopping block so that she [mom] could whack its [the chicken's] head off. Now Kate didn't particularly like this idea and it was with many objections and great consternation that she held the squawking frenzied bird down. Not an easy task for an also hysterical five-year old. But that was life on the farm - oh so romantic. Mom then drew the axe over her head and swung it down where it descended upon the tree stump where the chicken's neck was neatly stationed. With my sis not being fully committed to the dead-chicken project, it is amazing that its head was actually parted quite perfectly from its body. [Of course, looking back we're all very thankful that mom's aim was so dead-on, especially Kate, and that it happened just the way it did.] Kate, however in shock and horror, at that moment, let go of the bird rather than continuing to hold it down till it was 100% dead. Complete pandemonium ensued as the half-dead [really 3/4-dead] chicken rallied off the stump and into the barnyard at top speed, mangled feathers flapping in the breeze, blood spurting there also. I won't mention it was the proverbial chicken-running-around-with-its head-cut-off scene.  It was quite a sight - a memory which my then three-year old brain has retained to this day. Now if you know me, you know my brain doesn't retain much of anything and never has. I've had a type of Alzheimer's (probably All-Timers) all my life and long ago adopted the Scarecrow's song - If I Only Had a Brain - as my song. For the Scarecrow's memory [and my computer's] there was and is hope. Not so with me. So for me to remember something that happened when I was three is nothing short of a miracle. Must have been pretty gruesome.)

Needless to say what we had for supper that evening. But enough barnyard blood and guts from me. Go read Amy's story.

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