Monday, October 19, 2009

It's You

At the request of Jessie MacInnis, and thanks to Marie Norbie, here is my latest song.
Chorus is verses one and four from the hymn "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty"

Inspired by 2 Samuel 7 and Dr. David Martin's sermons.

Even dreams that are honoring to God don't always happen the way we think they will and I wish all the time that I could know how things are suppose to happen but God responds by showing me more of who He is and what his heart is and that is always so much better than an itinerary or bullet-ed schedule of events. How can I respond any other way but by bowing and praising his name?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

By Faith We Understand

My dad sent this to me the other day on Facebook (of all places) and I really liked it so he gave me permission to post it here. He wrote it last spring.

By Faith We Understand
By Pastor Cliff Horr

A common perception, at times even among followers of Christ, seems to be that faith and understanding are somehow exclusive or in some way contradictory. In discussions of origins and forensic science there can seem to be almost an unspoken agreement that facts and faith exist in different spheres or on separate planes. How often has it been said, rightly, “I believe the Bible is true,” or “I believe the story of Noah and the Ark.” We have told our children that they are to believe that “God created the heavens and the earth in six literal 24 hr. days.” This is valid but may be intellectually and even Biblically unsatisfying. Scripture challenges us to more closely associate Faith and Fact, Belief and Knowledge, with the simple statement: “By faith we understand [know] that the universe was formed at God’s command”.
C.S. Lewis, in “Mere Christianity”, made the wonderfully simple point that

Ninety-nine per cent of the things [we] believe are believed on authority. Every historical statement in the world is believed on authority. None of us has seen the Norman Conquest or the defeat of the Armada. None
of us could prove them by pure logic as you prove a thing in mathematics. We believe them simply because people who did see them have left writings that tell us about them: in fact, on authority. A man who jibbed at authority in other things as some people do in religion would have to be content to know nothing all his life.

We are always forced to believe facts based on the trustworthiness of our sources.
At the same time we are confronted with the constant challenge of gathering and understanding information: facts. It is here that the Bible gives us an interesting challenge: it is “By faith that we understand…”
First, without apologies, faith always precedes true understanding. It is most natural and obvious and necessary that children begin by believing what we tell them until they arrive at understanding for themselves. “Faith comes through hearing…” Faith never comes through “believing”, that is nonsense. Understanding, however, is always grounded in faith.
Second, yes, we are commended to faith: “Believe on the Lord Jesus.” “…these are written that you might believe.” Scripturally, faith is, without apology, greater than reason or knowledge. The gulf between, however, if there must be one, is not large. Rather, that distance must be treated as somewhat temporary. We are specifically commanded not to simply “believe” certain things, but to “understand” or “know” them.
Peter does not say we are to believe that Scripture is in fact that which “men spoke from God”, but that we must “understand”, or “know” it: “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation…”(2nd Peter 1:20) We are commanded to be convinced of Scripture’s historical accuracy and reliability, not simply to believe it.
Again, Peter, speaking by the Spirit, doesn’t tell us to “believe” that scoffers will come in the last days, (which takes no faith at all for we have lived to see it fulfilled). He tells us we must understand these things. In the same context, we do not simply take the history of the flood by faith, which is good; we go on to “know” all we can of that earth-shattering event. Yes, I believe the Biblical record, but I have looked and read and dug in the dirt and now I know. My faith began the study, my study only confirms and increases my faith. I no longer only say I believe the story of Noah and the worldwide cataclysm, I do, I’m also beginning to understand the event. Do I believe God created the heavens and the earth in six literal 24-hour days? I’ve believed this since I was a child. Now, as I read and study facts, I know it to have been so.
I no longer only believe the Bible is God’s Word, I have come to know it to be so, and I can prove it by facts: Manuscripts, fulfilled prophecy, archeology, transformed lives. I find that as I take God at His word I am free to see and begin to understand the world around me, the world as it was and the world that will be. “By faith we understand.”

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A a Apple, B b Ball, C c Cat and D d Doll...

Our home school curriculum finally arrived and lessons have begun. For those curious as to how I like the "Sing, Spell, Read, Write" ; I LOVE IT! We are working through the kindergarten level and Ivan is keeping pace with Hannah. He loves to sit down and learn his letters right along with her, though he's not quite there on auditory discrimination.
"Hey Ivan, does envelope start with D?"
"Are you sure? Does eh sound like D?"
But he's 3 1/2 and we're working on it. Hannah and Ivan can both sing the phonics song all the way through without the music; they sang it for me when we were at Starbucks the other day. Even Clayton is trying to sing along with the song. His favorite is A A Apple. During the same Starbucks trip he was "singing" AAA!!! AAA!!! Apple juice!!! B! B! Ball! quite loudly. He got warm apple juice while Hannah and Ivan got hot chocolate, I think this is what prompted the spontaneous outburst of song by the other two.
We are learning two letters a week. We learn a new letter on Mondays and Wednesdays. Tuesdays and Thursdays we review the letter and make little mini books with words that start with the letter and Fridays are devoted to crafts and the bible lessons from "A is for Adam" by Ken Ham.
Math and Science are worked on periodically during the day but not formally just yet and so far both kiddos are loving all of it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


I started drinking coffee when I was in 6th grade. Not every day of course, only on Sundays. I was the youngest person in my Sunday School class by two years and the rest of my class drank coffee. Church coffee. The kind made in the plug-in urn, made too strong with cheap beans and only powdered creamer and sugar packets to temper the taste. I hated it but I wanted to be cool. I have since decided I am okay with being a dork but I do love coffee, and because of this wonderful introduction to the addiction of the bean I can now drink almost any coffee, black if I need to.
In high school we had an open campus and there was a neat little coffee shop just down the street, we also had a few great teachers who "allowed" us a break to run and grab a coffee. The price back into class was one for them too. Mostly this was in yearbook class and we had to prove we had our work mostly done, and I'm sure many of our photo captions are the direct by-product of caffeine induced creativeness.
I used to hold to the idea that decaff coffee is not really coffee. It needs the caffeine to be legit. I have since blurred this line and drink decaff. Some of the time. During each of my pregnancies I cut back to one cup of coffee on Wednesdays and Sundays. Wednesdays because we have our Mom's group and when all the other moms are standing around with a steaming cup of joe I bend to the unspoken peer pressure and fill up a cup and Sundays because what can I say, I have this thing for church coffee. Well, actually the church has an espresso machine and I'm usually helping run it. Lately I've been drinking it more often and I've tried my darnedest to cut back but alas the spirit is willing but...okay, the spirit is not so willing. There is something so comforting in the smooth rich, creaminess of a good cup of coffee, a comfort not found in tea or cider or even hot chocolate. I've even tried Teeccino, which is an herbal based caffeine free coffee alternative but there's nothing quite like the real thing. A month or so ago I decided that I'd switch to decaff so that my body wasn't dependent upon the caffeine. I bought one bag of decaff and one of regular and slowly mixed them together in my morning cup, upping the decaff every day until my morning cup was solely decaff and my body hadn't noticed the difference. Beautiful plan until we ran out of decaff and I really wanted coffee. Thus I am back where I started and need to go buy more decaff and try again.
And now that my cup is empty this morning I must get to work.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Truth in Advertising

I have this deep love for floor plans. I think it started when I was in second or third grade when the neighbor girls and I would draw chalk houses in the cul-de-sac. They were basically floor plans drawn in chalk. Anyone looking out a window would have seen piles of dress-up clothes lying "randomly" on the pavement and not the latest fashions carefully put away in our chalk house closets. These are fond memories of mine.
In high school I played with the idea of becoming an architect and was one of the only girls to take Engineering Related. I still love drawing floor plans and looking at floor plans. Recently I found a great website that has floor plans from the 1890's up until the 1970's, mostly of kit homes. My favorite are the 1930's-1940's. Where else can you find a house that has 1300 square feet and 4 bedrooms?! But while I was browsing through these wonderful plans I started reading the advertisements on the page. Here are a few of the quotes:

"There is something void in the being of a man who has the care neither of a home nor a family. Within the walls of his selfish fancy he may boast of his freedom and life of ease, but he is a prisoner indeed who knows not the joys of conjugal companionship, and the care and responsibility of home, perhaps in the class of The Kimberley."

"The care of a family means responsibility and responsibility in turn creates power. Just as it is more economical to own a home in The Rosedale class than it is to pay rent, just so it is more economical for a man to support a family than to deny himself the breadth of vision which comes as the result of a happy union and happy home life."

"Large houses have caused thousands of industrious women to become prematurely old. The day for large, pretentious homes is rapidly passing, and the practice of economy in small, convenient homes like The Royal is becoming the joyful duty of housewives. It is not the size of a home that makes it attractive, but the care with which it is kept."

"Nothing so stimulates and elevates a man as for his life companion to believe in him, and in no other way can a man show his appreciation of such confidence and trust as in the earnest endeavor to build her a home of her own. Any woman who has tact, forethought, and patience with her husband need not despair of owning eventually just such a home as The Hamilton."

I love these quotes! You don't hear stuff like this anymore, in general and especially not in advertising! I was blown away by the little truths that are in these statements and even more so because it was advertising, meaning the general populace must have agreed because they did buy these houses and these plans!