Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I just found the cutest tutorial!



Aren't these adorable??

I'm thinking that Jamison is going to have some new shoes soon!!

I know I'm a few days late...


But that is because I've been celebrating! (okay, I haven't really been celebrating this whole time, but I've been busy signing up for bloggy giveaways!)
Twice in four years??? What are the ramifications of something like this???
Oh and WE DON'T WANT A-ROD!

Happy Reformation Day!


Okay....now for some freebies....

If you haven't gone over to bloggy giveaways yet, you need to. There is almost 600 different giveaways posting...and more continue to be added! With all the ones I signed up for...I hope to win something! You can also see my post below to be added there :)

Free Jergens Moisturizer Samples (USA)

Free Sample of Oxyfresh Toothpaste (USA)

Free Haunted Berry Slush @ Sonic (expires 11/15/07) here

Free $3 Starbucks Gift Card from HQ Woman (USA)

Free Book - "The Cross and the Switchblade" (USA)

The Amazing Funky Buddha: Free Scented, or Gel Candle

Works-For-Me-Wednesday (picture hanging tip)


When we moved into our house earlier this year, I was very excited to be able to paint and to hang things up where I wanted and not have to worry about getting the landlord's approval...because I was the landlord! (ok, it's a joint effort between John and I) After we had all of the painting done, it was up to me to figure out where I wanted things hung, etc. It's quite a daunting task when you have a lot of pictures to hang up! Knowing that we weren't going to be moving any time soon made me that much more cautious before making holes in the walls.



We have a giant picture wall in our living room. (at least that's what I called it!) Here's my tip: Before I ever nailed/screwed anything in, I laid everything down on the floor. It is easy to see what works, what you might want to move around, etc....before doing anything permanent!



Here are some pictures of the end result!



Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Way of the Master Radio

Here is the interview that was conducted via the phone with Doug Pagitt of Solomon's Porch.

part 1


part 2


Here is what Todd Friel's response was:

Doug Pagitt. Heretic or Not?


With the exception of the other "H" word (hell), there is no more serious word in Christianity than: heretic.

While our beloved church fathers did not fear to label a heretic, we do. And rightly so. To label someone a heretic is to label them anathema; damned.

Disagreeing over non-essentials (spiritual gifts, communion, modes of baptism, etc.) is a healthy in-house debate that allows us to "agree to disagree" while maintaining fellowship. Disagreeing over essentials (such as the five solas) is another issue.

To be clear, if a teacher distorts the character and nature of God the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, salvation by grace alone through faith alone, or does not esteem the Bible to be the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God, we cannot be in fellowship with that person. They are indeed, anathema.

It has never been more difficult to determine when someone distorts these glorious doctrines. Today's emergent movement speaks a different English language. Black is purple and orange is wet.

Asking an emergent leader like Doug Pagitt to define justification is like nailing honey to a tree. Still, I gave it a try. Pastor Pagitt makes it as clear as he is able that there is no real hell and God will deal with good Buddhists and Muslims the same way He will deal with Christians.

Attached you will find an edited four minute version of our fifteen minute Way of the Master Radio "conversation." Would you please listen to it and answer the question, "Is this heresy?"

The Issues

Holiday Recipes #1: Swiss Cheese Green Beans

Since the holidays are arriving fast, I thought that each week, I would share the dishes I make each year!

Here is my all-time favorite green bean dish :) Enjoy!

Swiss Cheese Green Beans

2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups sour cream
1/2 tsp grated onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
48 ounces of italian green beans, drained
1/2 pound swiss cheese (from the deli, not prepackaged, you want REAL cheese)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons melted butter

In a small saute pan, melt 2T butter on low heat. When melted, stir in flour until it is incorporated and pasty. Stir in sour cream until completely melted. Add onion, salt and sugar. In a 7x11 buttered casserole dish, place a layer of beans, and a layer of swiss cheese. Repeat the layers once more. Pour the white sauce all over the top. Saute the bread crumbs in butter and sprinkle over the top of the white sauce. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes.

This is a recipe that you can make the day before. I would wait to add the sauteed bread crumbs until you are ready to put into the oven. You will have to adjust the cooking time since it will be cold, but it's always nice to prepare ahead of time, instead of running around getting everything done on Thanksgiving!

More Love to Thee, O Christ by Elizabeth Prentiss, 1856

Born: Oc­to­ber 26, 1818, Port­land, Maine.

Died: Au­gust 13, 1878, Dor­set, Ver­mont.

Buried: Dor­set, Ver­mont.


She wrote these words dur­ing a per­i­od of ill­ness, but kept them to her­self. When she showed them to her hus­band 13 years lat­er, he en­cour­aged her to pub­lish them. How­ard Doane saw the re­sult­ing pamph­let, and wrote mu­sic for the words.

Her father, Edward Payson, was the senior pastor of the Congregational Church at Portland, ME. He remained there until his death in 1827.


More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!

Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee.

This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee;

More love to Thee, more love to Thee!


Once earthly joy I craved, sought peace and rest;

Now Thee alone I seek, give what is best.

This all my prayer shall be: More love, O Christ to Thee;

More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

Let sorrow do its work, come grief or pain;

Sweet are Thy messengers, sweet their refrain,

When they can sing with me: More love, O Christ, to Thee;

More love to Thee, more love to Thee!


Then shall my latest breath whisper Thy praise;

This be the parting cry my heart shall raise;

This still its prayer shall be: More love, O Christ to Thee;

More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

PSA

If your two year old wants pop rocks because his older brothers think they are cool, don't be surprised when he starts screaming and crying and shouting "Ouch!" while the candy pops around in his mouth.

I'll never do that again, lol.

Complaint

I've only got one complaint about my new washer and dryer.

Why don't they fold the laundry too?

Monday, October 29, 2007

It's Fall Y'all bloggy giveaway!



Rocks in my Dryer is hosting a Fall Giveaway carnival on her Bloggy Giveaways Blog!! Be sure to check out all who have linked up...who knows, you might even win something!!!

Here's the bag I am giving away. I just finished it! The dimensions are approx 10x7x3. The strap is approx 44" long. It is interfaced with a soft flannel, and has a reinforced magnetic clasp. There is a pocket inside as well! The flap has vintage ric rac sewn on!
In addition to the bag, you will receive Noel Piper's "Treasuring God in Our Traditions".
Be sure to leave a comment! Winner will be chosen randomly on Friday, Nov 2nd at 5pm.
EDITED TO ADD: THE WINNER HAS BEEN CHOSEN AND THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!!!






Updates for a Monday

Jamison had his 9 month check-up today. (Sssh! I know he is 10-1/2 months, but we were out of town, etc etc etc, and had to postpone!)

He weighs 18 pounds 12 ounces. In the 10th percentile, but at his last appt he only gained ounces, so I think I'll keep my peanut! He measures 28 inches in height, average again :) He's got a good size head though! He got three shots and is doing well.

Stay tuned for more!

My newest favorite bag





Yesterday I made a bag. It was supposed to be for my giveaway, but I LOVE it! lol So...I will make another bag today to giveaway, so stay tuned!


It's made with a soft outer fabric and a coordinating liner. The strap is about 2 inches wide. It is interfaced with flannel for softness and sturdiness. It has a magnetic clasp and vintage ribbon on the front that used to be my grammy's. The tote is about 12 inches x15 inches.


Here's what I got for my birthday!


It came with a matching bracelet :)


John knows that I have a thing for rose gold...and when he saw this, he couldn't resist!


It was such a nice surprise to walk in and be surprised by friends and family Friday night. I had a small suspicion that something was up, but I was still surprised! Thanks to everyone that was able to come :)
And in addition to the necklace and bracelet, John also got me a new washer and dryer...and a new vehicle. Who could ask for anything more?

Friday, October 26, 2007

I heart Huckabee

To follow suit with those I admire and look up to...I endorse Mike Huckabee. It's exciting to see him moving up in the polls. I liked him several months ago, but I never really heard much about him unless I searched for it myself. He's really turning some heads!



The Amazing Art of Hand Puppetry

I was told that I had to see this....so I searched for it, and now I have to blog it. I am so jealous.

Do I get a second chance to win???

I tried a few weeks ago to win a pink Dyson....and wouldn't you know that there is another contest to win one!

Pink Dyson Vaccuum Giveaway by the Domestic Diva

Facing Reality about abortion airs on Fox News 10/27 at 9pm

Here is a review By Kathryn Jean Lopez

and here is the article from Fox News

Wrestling with Grampa




They really beat him up good!

They really do have the whole alphabet

in Alphabits cereal.

See? I can prove it.




But then something mysterious kept happening. I left it on the table and came back to find:

I guess my little thief thought I wouldn't notice, lol.

At gramma's hair salon




My mom did the kids hair last week. I had nothing to do with this at all.

I thought this was cute...


and it was only a few dollars at the fair, so I got it :)


Remember my apple pie catastrophe?


Here are the pics of the end result. The first pie was was gone by that first night. I think my dad ate three pieces, lol.


They came out very good. Although they don't look quite the same, they were actually better for you since it cuts out all of the shortening in the top crust.

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me.....

Today I turn 29.

I am the age that my Peppier has immortilized as the age to be. I remember growing up and asking him how old he was...his answer was "29"...which was slightly confusing to me since I specifically was asking him this on my dad's 29th birthday.

(How weird that I distinctly remember my dad's 29th birthday party.)

Anyway, here I sit, 29 years old with four little boys running around and a husband who is at work.

I will get a shower in here sometime! We've got plans to go out tonight! :)

It's GIVEAWAY time!

Rocks in my Dryer is hosting a giveaway extravaganza that I will be participating in. I'm not quite sure what I will be giving away....I'll be whipping something up this weekend.

Be sure to check in this week!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Anatomy of an Idol by Steve Gallagher

Before I expose the three great idols I have been forced to deal with in my life, it would probably be helpful if I first establish a working definition of idolatry. Webster’s Dictionary defines it as, “excessive devotion to or reverence for some person or thing.”

Spiritually speaking, this devotion to some object, activity or person is serious business because it takes the place of God in the person’s heart. The Apostle John concluded his first epistle with the sobering words: “…the whole world lies in the power of the evil one… Little children, guard yourselves from idols.” (I John 5:19-21) Paul told the Corinthian believers: “Do not be idolaters… flee from idolatry.” (I Corinthians 10:7, 14)

Just to bring home the gravity of this subject I should mention that in three separate passages (I Corinthians 6:9; Galatians 5:20; Ephesians 5:5) Paul included idolatry as one of the practices that precludes one from eternal life. “For this you know with certainty, that no… idolater has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” (Ephesians 5:5) The Lord Himself named idolaters among those people who “…will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:8)

The danger of idolatry is that it can be extremely subtle. As I mentioned, I have had to overcome three great idols in my life. It should go without saying that my obsession with sexual sin was an enormous idol. In one sense, despite its enormity, it was easier to deal with than the other two because it was an obvious sin issue. The other two were not so clear-cut.

Like many (if not most) men, success was another idol in my life. Believe it or not, it really didn’t become an issue until I went into ministry. I founded Pure Life Ministries as a direct call from God to help men get free of sexual addiction. I began with a sincere desire to obey God and help people. What I didn’t count on was the fact that my “self-life” was still thriving within me. That paved the way for self-ambition to take over my work.

What made this idol difficult to deal with was the fact that I had been called by God to do the very thing that was seeking to usurp Him from the throne of my heart. But He masterfully dealt with me about this issue over the years. I went through many painful experiences as He purged my heart of self-centered ambition. Eventually I came to the place where I could work in the ministry with the right attitude.

The most subtle idol I have dealt with centered around football, more specifically, the Oakland Raiders. Now, I fully realize that the first reaction of most female readers would be, “Whatever, Steve!” Women generally cannot comprehend the national male obsession with sports. But the old axiom is especially pertinent to idolatry: “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.” The world offers a million different interests—all designed to entice people away from a true devotion to God. What one person loves another disdains. Satan knows how to present the perfect idol for each person.

I began watching the Raiders as an adolescent, but it was when I was a teenager that the team came into its glory years. What began as innocent affection grew into idolatry as the Oakland franchise of the 1970’s became one of the greatest football teams in NFL history. This idol remained lodged in my heart until 1985 when the Lord made it clear to Kathy and I that we were to get rid of our television set. One of the spiritual side benefits of that deed was that I was no longer able to watch football games. Before long, we had started Pure Life Ministries and my interest in the Raiders faded away.

But this idol had never been rooted out of my heart. During that period it simply lay dormant within me. Then, a few years ago, I accidentally discovered a website that posted daily newspaper articles about the Raiders. Initially, it was merely a casual interest, but before long I found myself visiting that website nearly every day. “It’s just a harmless hobby,” I assured myself. “There are no hidden messages or sensuous images. They are just innocuous articles written about a football team.” And so the idol began reemerging in my heart.

Over time, I became increasingly preoccupied with the Raiders. I found my mind drifting into thoughts about the team at inappropriate times. For instance, as an insomniac, for years I would spend time praying while lying awake at night. But now I found it much easier to think about the Raiders during those long nights.

I started to suspect that something wasn’t right in my heart. I went to a couple of trusted friends and laid out the situation. They both assured me that it was healthy for me to have an outside hobby. “You’re too hard on yourself, Steve!” one of them told me. I realized later that when I presented the issue to them I hadn’t been completely forthright about the level of my passion.

In spite of their assurances, in some inexplicable way, I sensed the Lord’s displeasure over it. One day, the issue unexpectedly came to a head through a sermon I have given many times about repentance. One of the points of this sermon is the need to deal strongly with sin, rather than allowing it to remain alive. Many times I have asked men’s groups, “If you have a mad dog out back, why would you keep it chained up? Why not just go out and shoot the thing and be done with it?”

This particular day, I was heading out my front door to go on a prayer walk. The Lord had been dealing with me about my growing infatuation with the Raiders. I announced to myself, “I’ve got to quit reading these articles for awhile!” At that very moment, the question I have preached a hundred times came forcefully into my mind: “If you have a mad dog out back, why would you keep it chained up?”

I knew the answer: “So you don’t have to kill it—so you can keep it.” I repented of my idolatry on the spot. The pull of it was still there for several weeks, but my determination to put it to death assured my victory over it.

At one time or another, every person alive either has had idols of the heart. By its very nature idolatry is extremely deceptive. For most people, it is just subtle enough to allow them to avoid dealing with it.

One of the most comprehensive definitions of idolatry I have read came from an old Puritan preacher named David Clarkson. He wrote that soul idolatry is, “…when anything is more valued, more intended; anything more trusted, more loved, or our endeavors more for any other thing than God… That which we most highly value we make our god… That which we are most mindful of we make our god.”

What about you, dear one? Has the Lord been putting His finger on any idols in your heart? Are you a mother who loves your children more than Jesus? If you are, He says that you cannot be His disciple. (Luke 14:26) Are there forms of entertainment, hobbies or possessions that you feel as though you can’t live without? If there are, Scripture says that you do not love God. (I John 2:15) There are a multitude of idols which Satan is glad to provide for anyone interested.

Idolatry is extremely dangerous because it allows some object, activity or person to take the place of God in one’s heart. The Lord wants to set you free of these false loves so that He can have you to Himself. After all, that is what it means to love someone, isn’t it?

The California fires....

It has come out that they believe it was arson.

How horrible.

You can read the story here.

My mom

It was recently brought to my attention that nowhere on my blog do I once mention my mother. (hi mom!)

This brings back a certain Mother's Day...um, maybe 16-17 years ago?

You see, a group of girls decided to throw our mothers a dinner. We prepared and served all of the food. We even provided entertainment.

But something happened that evening that no one will ever forget. There came a time when all of the daughters stood in a line and spoke to their mothers and told their moms the things that they were most thankful for and admired the most. You would think with two daughters standing there (my sister was there too), she would have been bursting at the seems with our words.

Instead, this is what she got:

"Um, I can't think of anything."

This was said once by myself, and then again by my sister.

It was a sad, pathetic night.


So here goes:

*I am so grateful that you taught me how to cook, bake, dust, vacuum, do the dishes, sew, cross stitch, crochet....the list is never ending. I am so happy that I am able to provide things for my family, that without you, would have been much harder, if not impossible, to learn.

*I love that we talk on the phone nearly every day. We've spoken about how we are closer living a 1,000 miles apart, than if I lived right around the corner.

*I love that, while growing up, all you ever asked for was my best.

*I love that if I ever have a silly question about almost anything, I can just pick up the phone, and you do your best to help me out.

*I love that you passed on your love for crafting with me.

*I love that you raised me with a knowledge of Christ...and even though we have our different views, we are able to sit down and civilly discuss them.

*I love that you love my children...there is something to be said about a grandparent's love for their grandchildren.

*I love that you have never forgotten that you have 3 grandchildren that you were never able to meet.

*I love that you taught me how to make the perfect pie crust.

*I love that you passed on your love for cheesecake.

*I love that you will travel in a car for 20 hours to come visit....even though you hate traveling.

*I love that we are now more like the best of friends than mother and daughter.

I'm sorry for that night when I couldn't think of anything to say about you. You know, that night would not have been so memorable if we had said something nice about you. And now, I was able to proclaim to the whole world via the internet, the things I love and appreciate about you....not just a room filled with other people's moms!

Now that we are home....

*my mouse has gone into hiding and can no longer rule my house like he has.

*my bed is made and my decorative pillows can once again be placed upon the made bed...I can about guarantee that John didn't take the time to fix them the days he spent here, while going back and forth between TN and ME.

*the kids are having a wonderful time rediscovering their toys.

*Everyone is sleeping in until 8am because it is still fairly dark in the morning.

*I have the de-cluttering bug. It's amazing how your house can pile up when you aren't home.

*my bookshelf is now alphabetized, and I think I slept better last night because of it.

*the suitcases are unpacked. Suitcases, like laundry, exponentially multiply with each child.

*my new washer and dryer are being delivered today!!!!!!

*our pest guy is coming today to spray for bugs and set more traps for our mouse.

*I cleaned the fridge out, and there is just some aesthetically pleasing about opening up a clean fridge.

*Jamison is pulling himself up on everything! He is a risky little boy and has taught himself how to fall well.

*we ordered a new gate for the top of our stairs. The one we bought at TRU just was not made to last. We got a retract-a-gate, and I'm excited to be able to let Jamison down on the floor without barrackading the stairs.

*it feels so nice to cuddle in bed with John, in my own blankets, in our own bed, in our own house :)

I've been negligent

We made it home safely, and it feels like I just haven't stopped since we got home. Our 26 minute lay over went well...and with the exception of Haddon pooping halfway through the second flight, it was quite enjoyable. We received many compliments on how well behaved the boys were. I did feel bad for the man sitting directly behind Haddon who had to fan himself due to the stank, lol.

It is good to be home!

Our mouse is still at large though. If you know of any way to rid yourself of a mouse, please comment. We have used traps with peanut butter, bacon, sticky traps that you get at the store, and also sticky traps that are from a pest control place.

Ack.

So I will catch up on a recipe and some freebies....either today or tomorrow.

Oh....and HOW ABOUT THOSE SOX!?!

Monday, October 22, 2007

All good things must come to an end...aka I don't remember what my house looks like!

We are flying home tomorrow. It's been four weeks since the kids and I left. The plane leaves Portland at 6:45am....yes, that is AM! Which means, we are leaving my parent's house at 4:45am. If all goes well, we'll land in Charlotte a little past 10am. Since our layover in Baltimore is a mere 26 minutes long, we may end up spending more time in Maryland than we are planning on!

The kids are excited to fly. I am too. I am imagining the looks that I will get when I am seen trudging through the airport with my husband and four boys in tow. The last time I flew with my boys (Haddon was 3 months old, so I only had 3), I actually had someone get down on their hands and knees and bow down to my bravery.

Prayers would be much appreciated!

Holy, Holy, Holy by Reginald Heber

Born: Ap­ril 21, 1783, Ma­lpas, Che­shire, Eng­land.

Died: Ap­ril 3, 1826, Tri­chin­o­po­ly (Tir­u­chir­ap­pal­li), Ta­mil Na­du, In­dia, of a ce­reb­ral hem­or­rhage while bath­ing.

Buried: St. John’s Church, Tri­chin­o­po­ly, Tam­il Nadu, In­dia (north side of the al­tar).

Heber at­tend­ed Brase­nose Coll­ege, Ox­ford, where he won a num­ber of awards in Eng­lish and La­tin. He re­ceived a fel­low­ship to All Souls Coll­ege, and lat­er be­came Rec­tor at Hod­net, Shrop­shire, Eng­land. In 1823, he be­came, some­what re­luct­ant­ly, Bi­shop of Cal­cut­ta, In­dia. Most of his hymns were not pub­lished un­til af­ter his death; 57 of them ap­peared in Hymns Writ­ten and Adapt­ed to the Week­ly Church Ser­vice of the Year (Lon­don: J. Mur­ray, 1827).


Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

Holy, holy, holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see;
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, holy, holy; merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessèd Trinity!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

A quote

"We who have received the Gospel, have a fearful obligation to deliver it. The obligation is not only to God, but also to our own generation and the generations to come. Although the Gospel can be corrupted in an instant, it may take the Church years, even centuries to recover it. If Church history teaches us anything, it teaches us that though heretical movements abound, there are few genuine reformations. There is something worse than holding our silence while the lost world runs headlong into hell. It is the crime of preaching to them a watered down, culturally carved, truncated Gospel that allows them to hold to a form of godliness, while denying its power, to profess to know God, while denying Him with their deeds, and to call Jesus 'Lord, Lord', while not doing the Father's will. Woe to us if we preach not the Gospel, but even greater woe if we do so incorrectly!"

-Paul Washer

White Dove Fly High

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Surprise Muffins

You can make either corn bread muffins or the Jiffy muffins for the batter.

Corn Bread Muffins
1 cup corn meal
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sale
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup oil

Jiffy Muffins
2 cups Jiffy Mix
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg

Once you have you batter, grease your muffin tins. If you want to use cupcake papers, you can. fill muffins 1/3 of the way full. Put jam or jelly on top...try to keep it centered on the batter. Add the rest of the muffin batter to cover jelly.

Bake at 375 degrees until done.

SURPRISE! (jelly will be very hot right out of the oven, so I would wait a few minutes to eat)

Freebies

Get a free berry burst sample of Metamucil!

Free Celestial tea sample!

SkinWear USA Get a free sample!

Free Simply Nutrilite Chocolate Crisp or Cherry Almond Bar

Someone stole Bob Kauflin!

Ok, it was only an Upwards cd....you can run, but you can't hide!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cancer's Unexpected Blessings

Commentator and broadcaster Tony Snow announced that he had colon cancer in 2005. Following surgery and chemo-therapy, Snow joined the Bush administration in April 2006 as press secretary. Unfortunately, on March 23 Snow, 51, a husband and father of three, announced that the cancer had recurred, with tumors found in his abdomen—leading to surgery in April, followed by more chemotherapy. Snow went back to work in the White House Briefing Room on May 30, but resigned August 31. CT asked Snow what spiritual lessons he has been learning through the ordeal.


Blessings arrive in unexpected packages—in my case, cancer.

Those of us with potentially fatal diseases—and there are millions in America today—find ourselves in the odd position of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God's will. Although it would be the height of presumption to declare with confidence What It All Means, Scripture provides powerful hints and consolations.

The first is that we shouldn't spend too much time trying to answer the why questions: Why me? Why must people suffer? Why can't someone else get sick? We can't answer such things, and the questions themselves often are designed more to express our anguish than to solicit an answer.

I don't know why I have cancer, and I don't much care. It is what it is—a plain and indisputable fact. Yet even while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning truths begin to take shape. Our maladies define a central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out.


You can read the rest of the article here.

This one quote really stuck out:

“We want lives of simple, predictable ease—smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see—but God likes to go off-road.”

What I feel like sometimes

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

New Study Reveals Good Looks = Bad Theology

The Study.

Why I hate religion

State of the Pulpit - Joel Osteen

A quote

“No, I think we use God’s word. I think the principles that you hear Dr.
Phil and some of those others talk about many times are right out of the
Bible,” --Joel Osteen


If this doesn't sum it up, I don't know what does.

Dyson vacuum cleaner GIVEAWAY!

Click here to enter.



Drawing closes tonight (Tuesday 10/16) at 10pm!

Van for sale

It has now been over 3 weeks since we left to drive up to Maine. Who knew that our dear Nissan Quest would never look upon the mountains of northeast Tennessee ever again?

Now we wait to see if we are able to find another vehicle. As John flies back home for business, I feel like I am kinda stranded. I have no car, and I have four children. This is going to be a long week.

How do you buy a vehicle quickly and make sure you are making the right decision?

I know that this situation was not what I had instore for this trip, but I know that God knows what is going on...and that gives me comfort. Instead, I thank Him that the van didn't break down during our 1,000 mile journey here. I am grateful that we are all safe. And I take comfort that this will all work out...whichever way that might be.

Oh, and if you live in Maine and want a 2000 Nissan Quest that needs about $2-3,000 of work into it.....contact me, lol.

Joel Osteen on 60 minutes

Justin Taylor has posted some articles a part of a collection of essays written recently by Dr. Horton after his interview on 60 Minutes which aired on October 14, 2007.

I recommend that you read them!

The Internet Monk has also responded to Sunday's episode.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hallelujah! What a Savior by Phil­ip P. Bliss

Born: Ju­ly 9, 1838, Clear­field Coun­ty, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Died: De­cem­ber 29, 1876, Ash­ta­bu­la, Ohio. Bliss and his wife died in a tra­gic train wreck caused by a bridge col­lapse. He sur­vived the in­i­tial im­pact, but went back in­to the flames in an un­suc­ces­sful at­tempt to res­cue his wife.

Buried: The re­mains re­trieved from the Ash­ta­bu­la dis­as­ter were placed in a com­mon grave marked by a cen­o­taph in the Ash­ta­bu­la Cem­e­te­ry. A cen­o­taph in mem­o­ry of the Bliss­es was al­so erect­ed in the cem­e­tery at Rome, Penn­syl­vania, Ju­ly 17, 1877.

The night be­fore that ter­ri­ble rail­road ac­ci­dent at Ash­ta­bu­la…he said to his au­di­ence, “I may not pass this way again”; then he sang a so­lo, “I’m Go­ing Home To­mor­row.” This in­deed proved pro­phe­tic of his own home go­ing.


Written…short­ly before his death, this was the last hymn I heard Mr. Bliss sing. It was at a meet­ing in Far­well Hall in Chi­ca­go [Il­li­nois], con­duct­ed by Hen­ry Moore­house. A few weeks be­fore his death Mr. Bliss vis­it­ed the State pri­son at Jack­son, Mi­chi­gan, where, af­ter a ve­ry touch­ing ad­dress on “The Man of Sor­rows,” he sang this hymn with great ef­fect. Ma­ny of the pri­son­ers dat­ed their con­ver­sion from that day.

When Mr. Moo­dy and I were in Par­is, hold­ing meet­ings in the old church which
Na­pol­e­on had grant­ed to the Evan­gel­ic­als, I fre­quent­ly sang this hymn as a so­lo, ask­ing the con­gre­ga­tion to join in the sin­gle phrase, “Hal­le­lu­jah, what a Sav­iour,” which they did with splen­did ef­fect. It is said that the word “Hal­le­lu­jah” is the same in all lan­guag­es. It seems as though God had pre­pared it for the great ju­bi­lee of hea­ven, when all his child­ren shall have been ga­thered home to sing “Hal­le­lu­jah to the Lamb!”

Ira David Sankey





Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!


Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!


Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!


When He comes, our glorious
King,All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Adventures in Pie Making!

For those that don't know, my parents have some apple trees in their front yard. Even though they weren't sprayed much this year, they still produce an abundance of apples. They weren't too pretty on the outside, but the inside is quite delicious.

I decided to make apple pies. You know, because I had soooo much time on my hands.

I peeled, cored and cut up the apples. So far so good.

I made the pie crust. It came out great....or so I thought. (I did notice that the shortening looking weird, but figured it was nothing)

If you make pies, you know how nice it feels to make the perfect dough. That is the way I felt.

Then I tried to roll it out. It wouldn't.

Somehow I managed to roll out two bottom crusts and get them into the pie plates. I loaded them with apples and the rest of my secret ingredients. (like sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, butter and maple syrup)

I could not roll out a top crust. It kept cracking and the more flour you added, the worse it became, and it stuck to everything!

I figured I would just make another batch. Wrong. No flour left, no shortening left.

I ended up (with the advice of my mom) to make a Jiffy mix crust for the top. There was just enough to roll out two tops for my pies.

Needless to say, it smells yummy, and it doesn't look t0o bad either. I'll be sure to post pics when they come out of the oven, lol.

(did I mention that my boys were at each other's throats once I started making these pies? That just added to my frustration!)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Jamison's photo shoot

I always get emails from The Picture People. Unfortunately, the closest one to us in Tennessee is hours away. When we are in Maine, I try to get to the mall at least once to get my free 10x13 of one of my boys. This time, it was Jamison's turn. He did so well, I had to sign a release form so his picture could hang on the wall of their studio.

Here are a couple of them and you can go here to see them all. (I hope the link works!)



The Pragmatic Party of Death

There has been an interesting conversation going on at the Evangelical Outpost about the upcoming election. I know that Justin Taylor has been responding. I recommend that you read it and think about it!


There are two broad political camps in the pro-life community: the incrementalists and the absolutists. The absolutists are political idealists. They want a "Human Life Amendment" and a Federal ban on all abortion. Some of them don't even want Roe overturned since it would give the power to the States.

Incremenatlists, on the other hand, are political realists. They know that the issue of abortion won't disappear when Roe is overturned. Their position is that the best that can be hoped for is that the issue be returned to the people and to the individual states.


Once in the states, they will have 50 separate fights, some of which they will win (Louisiana, South Dakota) and many they will lose (New York, California). It's a fight that will take several decades, perhaps even a century, before the moral issue is completely resolved.


I am a political realist, which is why I am an incrementalist. Because I'm a political realist, I also believe than in the long run electing Rudy Giuliani will be even more detrimental to the pro-life cause than would a Hillary Clinton presidency.


Before I explain my reasoning, let me clear up one of the most common counter-claims that is used to justify Giuliani as the "lesser evil." Many well-intentioned pro-lifers believe that it doesn't matter if Giuliani is pro-abortion so long as he appoints judges to the Supreme Court that would overturn Roe. That point was raised yesterday in a post by my friend Justin Taylor:


I think there are good reasons to believe that Giuliani would appoint
constructionalists and originalists, as he has promised to do--in part because I think he will want to placate the Republican base. (Even if he does this for only one term in order to win reelection, which I think is doubtful, then the next point still stands.) I completely agree and think that Giuliani will indeed appoint "strict constructionist" judges as he understands the term. Pro-lifers hear that term and assume it means a justice that would overturn Roe. But Giuliani has been clear--crystal clear--that this is not the case.




You can read the rest of it here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Let's Praise-ercize!

It's low impact, so even those that have a stress fracture can do it!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Rape Epidemic Raises Trauma of Congo War

BUKAVU, Congo — Denis Mukwege, a Congolese gynecologist, cannot bear to listen to the stories his patients tell him anymore.

Every day, 10 new women and girls who have been raped show up at his hospital. Many have been so sadistically attacked from the inside out, butchered by bayonets and assaulted with chunks of wood, that their reproductive and digestive systems are beyond repair.

“We don’t know why these rapes are happening, but one thing is clear,” said Dr. Mukwege, who works in South Kivu Province, the epicenter of Congo’s rape epidemic. “They are done to destroy women.”

Eastern Congo is going through another one of its convulsions of violence, and this time it seems that women are being systematically attacked on a scale never before seen here. According to the United Nations, 27,000 sexual assaults were reported in 2006 in South Kivu Province alone, and that may be just a fraction of the total number across the country.


You can read the rest here

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Top Twenty Theological Pick-up Lines NOT to use

20. ”I am not overweight. The word ‘glory’ in Hebrew is kabod which according to HALOT literally means ‘heaviness.’ The Bible also says that we are to reflect God’s glory. Therefore, I am just doing what the Bible says.”

19. “Looking at you makes me reconsider preterism, because you are heaven on earth.”

18. “Paul said that it was better to marry than to burn. Therefore, I am under God’s mandate to marry you.”

17. “Here, let me take care of those tithes.”

16. “You may not have chosen me, but I have chosen you.”

15. “I could not help but notice you were exegeting me instead of the text during the sermon.”

14. ”Your name must be grace, because you are irresistible.”

13. ”There are six things that motivate me to talk to you, yea seven that turned my head.”

12. “Until this moment, I thought I had the gift of singleness.”

11. During communion say, “Can I get you another drink.”

10. “The Bible says that God is not concerned with outer appearance . . . neither should you.”

9. “The Good Book said that I might be visited by angels unaware, but something must be wrong with my interpretation, because I am perfectly aware of you.”

8. “I noticed you crying during alter call, can I help?”

7. While giving her a TULIP say, ”This Totally depraved person has been Unconditionally drawn to you, Limiting himself to your Irresistible beauty that is Persevering beyond all others.”

6. “God may be the bread of life, but you are the butter.”

5. “The site of you leaves me apophatic.”

4. “Well, gouge out my eyes and cut off my hands. If I hang around you much longer, I won’t have any limbs left.”

3. “You must have missed The Fall line, because you are lookin’ righteous.”

2. Sing this to the tune of George Strait’s “Chair”: “Excuse me, but I think you’ve got my rib.”

1. “Are you homo or homoi?”

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Blueberry Coffee Cake


(this is estimated since I made the recipe up....so I hope I give you the right directions, lol)

4 cups Jiffy Mix
1 cup sugar
2-3 eggs
1 cup milk (if that looks too thick, add a little bit more)
a bunch of blueberries (I used frozen wild Maine blueberries)

For the topping, mix a lot of sugar with cinnamon and maybe 1/4 cup Jiffy mix, until the coloring looks right....not too cinnamony, not too white. Have lots of margarine in-waiting.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the top 4 ingredients together, it will look a little clumpy. Once that is all mixed, add in the blueberries. Pour this into a greased 9x13.

Take a large spoon and sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture on top. Take a bunch of margarine into your hand and dot the top of the sugar/cinnamon with pats of the margarine. Take a knife and gently cut the cinn/sug/marg into the batter.

Put it in the oven, timed for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, take it out and sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar on top, adding the pats of marg too. Cut into it again, making sure you get that cinn/sug/marg goodness into the batter. (don't be conservative with the cinn/sug/marg)

Time for 10-15 minutes.

Take the baking dish out again and add more cinn/sug/marg to the top....again, cutting it in with a knife...even into the sides that are beginning to look done.

I usually start out with about 3-4 cups of the sug/cinn mixture, and there isn't any left at the end, so don't be skimpy.

You can repeat the additions of cinn/sug/marg one more time if you think it needs it. I always like to add a lot of marg all over the top, especially in the corners where it has the tendency to caramelize.

Once it's done, let it cool a bit....you can serve it warm if you'd like.

If you want to add a glaze....mix up a couple cups of confectionary sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and add milk little by little until you get the consistency you want.

This is VERY good and won't last long in your house! You can replace the blueberries with sliced apples if you want....it comes out great!

Mission Trip to Mexico

Monday, October 8, 2007

Come on, My Partners In Distress by Charles Wesley, 1749

Charles Wesley wrote over 6,000 hymns. Like most hymn­ists, his works were fre­quent­ly al­tered. In the pre­face to the 1779 Col­lection of Hymns for the Use of the Peo­ple called Meth­od­ists, his bro­ther John wrote:

I beg leave to men­tion a thought which has been long up­on my mind, and which I should long ago have in­sert­ed in the pub­lic pa­pers, had I not been un­will­ing to stir up a nest of horn­ets. Ma­ny gen­tle­men have done my bro­ther and me (though with­out nam­ing us) the hon­our to re­print ma­ny of our hymns. Now they are per­fect­ly wel­come to do so, pro­vid­ed they print them just as they are. But I de­sire they would not at­tempt to mend them, for they are real­ly not able. None of them is able to mend ei­ther the sense or the verse. There­fore, I must beg of them these two fa­vours: ei­ther to let them stand just as they are, to take things for bet­ter or worse, or to add the true read­ing in the mar­gin, or at the bot­tom of the page, that we may no long­er be ac­count­a­ble ei­ther for the non­sense or for the dog­ger­el of other men.


Come on, my partners in distress,
My comrades through the wilderness,
Who still your bodies feel;
Awhile forget your griefs and fears,
And look beyond the vale of tears,
To that celestial hill.

Beyond the bounds of time and space,
Look forward to that happy place,
The saints’ secure abode;
On faith’s strong eagle pinions rise,
And force your passage to the skies,
And scale the mount of God.

See where the Lamb in glory stands,
Encircled with His radiant bands,
And join the angelic powers.
For all that height of glorious bliss,
Our everlasting portion is,
And all that Heaven is ours.

Who suffer with our Master here,
We shall before His face appear
And by His side sit down;
To patient faith the prize is sure,
And all that to the end endure
The cross, shall wear the crown.

Thrice blessèd, bliss-inspiring hope!
It lifts the fainting spirits up,
It brings to life the dead;
Our conflicts here shall soon be past,
And you and I ascend at last,
Triumphant with our Head.

That great mysterious Deity
We soon with open face shall see;
The beatific sight
Shall fill the heavenly courts with praise,
And wide diffuse the golden blaze
Of everlasting light.

The Father shining on His throne,
The glorious co-eternal Son,
The Spirit one and seven,
Conspire our rapture to complete;
And lo! we fall before His feet,
And silence heightens Heaven.

In hope of that ecstatic pause,
Jesus, we now sustain Thy cross,
And at Thy footstool fall,
’Till Thou our hidden life reveal,
’Till Thou our ravished spirits fill,
And God is all in all.

Romans 12:12

“Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation.”

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Caramel Apple Time!

On Friday, my niece and nephew were going to spend the night. I thought it would be fun to make caramel apples with them. I decided to make them with my younger boys first...and just as the caramel was melted...my brother and his three children showed up! We all had so much fun decorating our apples!

from left to right: Haddon, Nolan, Ashtyn, Devon, Alden and Gideon.






Unfortunately, Cosette had a late track meet, so she couldn't do one. When her brother, Mark, was dropped off that night, we made enough so that she could take one home!

When boys play with dollhouses...

...it doesn't quite look the same, lol.



Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Erroneous Doctrine of Decisional Regeneration

How not to evangelize

To friends and family that happen to be Cubs fans

Sorry.

go sox

Introducing John Daker

It's been awhile since I watched this...thought I would share, lol

Me Worship and Me Church



Prosperity Praise

Why I'll never go to an acupuncturist

A quote

"If you believe what you like in the gospel, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself." -Augustine

The Drive Thru Church

A quote

“When a sinner wanders into the church and sits through skits, mimes, interpretive dances, and the like, and yet never hears a clear, convicting message about his dangerous and tenuous spiritual situation– that he is a depraved sinner headed for an eternal fire because he is a daily offense to a holy God– how can that be called successful? You could achieve the same level of success by sending a cancer patient to receive treatment from a group of children playing doctor. A sinner must understand the imminent danger he is in if he is ever to look to the Savior. What’s worse is when seeker-focused churches baptize the masses with their watered-down gospel, assuring them that positive decisions, feelings, or affirmations about Christ equal genuine conversion. There are now multitudes who are not authentic Christians identifying with the church. As you set your strategy for church ministry, you dare not overlook the primary means of church growth: the straightforward, Christ-centered proclamation of the unadulterated Word of God.”
-John MacArthur

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Righteous Anger of God



(minus the comment about Caedmon's Call)

Mark Driscoll on American Idolatry

A quote

"God, I pray thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for
Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long
life, but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus"

-Jim Elliot (from a journal entry written in college)

your? you're?


Think they made the mistake on purpose?

My style guru


Is he ahead of the times? behind the times? or trying to fit in the with the whole 'senior citizen' style?

Is it the Paparazzi?


It was nearly impossible to wrestle the camera out of Reggie's hands, since he was convinced he saw Creflo in the crowd.

Happy 90th Birthday Grandpa Jordan



We had the privilege to have dinner with John's grandfather on his 90th birthday. His speech is slow, and his hands tremble with age, yet his mind is intact, and he remains quite humorous for 90.

Desiring God 2007

Some friends have yet to email me some pics from the conference, including the one taken with John Piper, so you'll just have to wait :)

You can see Piper and MacArthur...though it's hard to see past the glare of the head of the man who was sitting in front of me, lol.

John, Jamison and I with Justin Taylor aka King of the Blogworld. (the picture was taken by Purgatorio...man, I miss his blog!)

Here we are with Helen Roseveare.

She was the cutest little woman I have ever seen...and she has such a story to tell!


Here is the panel of John Piper, Helen Roseveare, Jerry Bridges and Randy Alcorn. Justin Taylor was asking the questions.

We had a great time. It is always sad when it is over...but there is always next year! They didn't announce the theme for next year yet, so we wait on the edge of our seats for it! Jamison did great and slept through several of the speakers. He was a trooper, staying up later than usual and getting pushed around Minneapolis like a king! I was happy to see that there was a television set up out in the lobby for all the parents with young children. I didn't miss anything!

I loved how Helen made the point that we are called to persevere, more than to endure. There is something about the word endure that makes us think we have to grit our teeth and just do it...whereas to persevere has a much more positive message.

On Sunday night, we went to Bethlehem Baptist Church to see Joni Earickson Tada. It was the first time I have ever seen her in person, and I have to say, she glows with the joy that only God can give. It is my daily prayer to be as content in Christ as she is. Joni is a true testament to the grace and sufficiency of God.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

How do you know you are saved?

Thoughts on Money

Testimony of God's Faithfulness



Edited to add:

That very day, in God's providence, a lady was visiting Covenant Life for the first time in several years, having felt compelled to come that morning. After the service, she came forward sobbing. This lady shared that she had been a daycare provider for the Herberts' children while they were enslaved to drugs, but never knew how the story ended. When she saw Tom and Michelle, and heard this testimony from these two transformed believers about to be baptized, she was undone. In Tom Herbert's words, "[this lady had] suffered at Michelle's hands when Michelle violently kidnapped one of our children from her after we had lost custody of them. This is the first time Michelle and her have talked since that dreadful day. Michelle was undone at God's hand in presenting an opportunity to repent and ask forgiveness of her." How kind of our sovereign God to bring this lady here on that very day, and to remind us all of His inscrutable ways and undeserved mercy.

Through time of loss...cling to....baseball?

TBS is no longer going to airing the Braves games throughout baseball season. Since I don't particularly like the Braves, I couldn't really be bothered with it. I did find this one quote especially sad.


In Kansas, DeArmand, 60, has been watching the Braves since his town got cable TV in 1978. He credits the Braves telecasts with helping him get through the horrible summer of 1997, when his mother and his wife died a week apart. "It was just unbelievable, losing the two most important people in your life in seven days, and you have to reach out and cling to something," he said. He'll watch today's game with both sadness and disgust. "TBS has no loyalty to their fans," he said.


Can you imagine losing your mother and your wife within a week and instead of clinging to your creator, you cling to TBS and Braves baseball?

Left Behind (The Rapture Song)

And now it's time for silly songs with Larry

If you don't know who Andrew Peterson is, you should. He's one of my favorite music artists, and I've had the privilege to have dinner with him on several occasions. Recently, Andrew and his buddy Randall Goodgame teamed up to make a silly song for the upcoming Veggietales movie.

Here is a sneak peak:

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Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Hot Spinach and Artichoke dip

1 cup thawed, chopped frozen spinach
1-1/2 cups thawed, chopped frozen artichoke hearts (I couldn't find frozen, so I just use artichokes from the can, drained)
6 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Boil spinach and artichokes in 1 cup of water until tender and drain. Discard liquid. Heat cream cheese in microwave for 1 minute or until hot and soft. Stir in rest of ingredients and serve hot.

I always add more Parmesan cheese than is called for....and I add it to the top to make a nice crunchy layer!

Great Is Thy Faithfulness by Thom­as O. Chis­holm

George Beverly Shea says that this hymn was first introduced in Great Britain in 1954 during the Billy Graham Crusades.

William Runyan whore wrote the tune for the hymn writes this:

This particular poem held such an appeal that I prayed most earnestly that my tune might carry over its message in a worthy way, and the subsequent history of its use indicates that God answered prayer. It was written in Baldwin, Kansas in 1923 and was first published in my private song pamphlets.

It is the un­of­fi­cial “school hymn” of Moo­dy Bi­ble In­sti­tute in Chi­ca­go, with which Run­yan was as­so­ci­at­ed for a num­ber of years.

The author Thomas Obadiah Chisholm had a poor start in life. Born in 1866 in a log cabin in Kentucky on July 29th. He went to the local country schoolhouse and there he stayed for many years, becoming at the age of sixteen a teacher in the same school without ever having left it. In 1887 he became editor of the local paper. And six years later at the age of 28 he became a Christian. Poor health dogged him all his days, he spent only a brief period as a Methodist Minister before having to give up, and he spent the remainder of his working life as a Life insurance agent in New Jersey. He retired in 1953 and lived until his death in 1960 in the Methodist Home for the Aged, Ocean Grove, New Jersey.

In a letter dated 1941 he writes:

"My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness."


Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Refrain

Great is Thy faithfulness!Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Refrain

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Refrain