Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Honey Butter Biscuit in a Bag

Usually, I am not a big hot tea drinker. Kris is because of his time in England. He is very considerate and will occasionally offer me a cup of Earl Grey, but hot tea is something I could take or leave. Until this.

This tea, as the title states, is a honey butter biscuit in liquid form. When you take the first sip, your brain needs a moment to sort through the mixed signals because at first it goes "Yea! A honey butter biscuit!" But then it goes "Wait a minute! I'm not chewing anything, I'm drinking hot tea! What the heck is going on?" It is so delicious and we have our good friend Pez to thank for introducing us to so great a hot tea.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Some Thoughts on Christmas from C.H. Spurgeon


There is no reason upon earth beyond that of ecclesiastical custom why the 25th of December should be regarded as the birthday of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ any more than any other day from the first of January to the last day of the year; and yet some persons regard Christmas with far deeper reverence that the Lord's-day. You will often hear it asserted that "The Bible and the Bible alone is the religion of Protestants," but it is not so. There are Protestants who have absorbed a great deal besides the Bible into their religion, and among other things they have accepted the authority of what they call "the Church," and by that door all sorts of superstitions have entered. There is no authority whatever in the word of God for the keeping of Christmas at all, and no reason for keeping it just now except that the most superstitious section of Christendom [he means Catholics] has made a rule that December 25th shall be observed as the birthday of the Lord, and the church by law established in this land (the Church of England] has agreed to follow in the same track. You are under no bondage whatever to regard the regulation. We owe no allegiance to the ecclesiastical powers which have made a decree on this matter, for we belong to an old-fashioned church which does not dare to make laws, but is content to obey them. At the same time the day is no worse than another, and if you choose to observe it, and observe it unto the Lord, I doubt not he will accept your devotion: while if you do not observe it, but unto the Lord observe it not, for fear of encouraging superstition and will-worship, I doubt not but what you shall be as accepted in the non-observance as you could have been in the observance of it. Still, as the thoughts of a great many Christian people will run at this time towards the birth of Christ, and as this cannot be wrong, I judged it meet to avail ourselves of the prevailing current, and float down the stream of thought. Our minds will run that way, because so many around us are following customs suggestive of it, therefore let us get what good we can out of the occasion. There can be no reason why we should not, and it may be helpful that we should, now consider the birth of our Lord Jesus. We will do that voluntarily which we would refuse to do as a matter of obligation: we will do that simply for convenience sake which we should not think of doing because enjoined by authority or demanded by superstition.

[He then offers a lengthy exposition of Luke 2:10: "The angel said unto them, 'Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.'" He follows that with a stinging rebuke against the London's holy day merriment: "I slander not our countrymen when I say that drunkenness seems to be one of the principal items of their Christmastide delight." He ends with an encouragement for Christians to "keep the day."]

. . . You may keep his birthday all the year round, for it were better to say he was born every day of the year than on any one, for truly in a spiritual sense he is born every day of every year in some men's hearts, and that to us is a far weightier point than the observation of holy days. Express your faith first, as the angels did, by public ministry. Some of us are called to speak to the many. Let us in the clearest and most earnest tones proclaim the Savior and his power to rescue man. Others of you cannot PREACH, but you can SING. Sing then your anthems, and praise God with all your hearts. Do not be slack in the devout use of your tongues, which are the glory of your frames, but again and again and again lift up your joyful hymns unto the new-born King. Others of you can neither preach nor sing. Well, then, you must do what the shepherds did, and what did they? You are told twice that they SPREAD THE NEWS. As soon as they had seen the babe they made known abroad the saying that was told them, and as they went home they glorified God. This is one of the most practical ways of showing your joy. Holy conversation is as acceptable as sermons and anthems. There was also one who said little, but thought the more: "Mary PONDERED all these things in her heart." Quiet, Happy spirit, weigh in thy heart the grand truth that Jesus was born at Bethlehem. Immanuel, God with us;—weigh it if you can; look at it again and again, examine the varied facets of this priceless brilliant, and bless, and adore, and love, and wonder, and yet adore again this matchless miracle of love.

. . . Come and worship God manifest in the flesh, and be filled with his light and sweetness by the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

——Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892). "The Great Birthday" from TWELVE CHRISTMAS SERMONS DELIVERED AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1976, p. 91, 101. ISBN 0-8010-8081-9.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I am currently reading...

Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen. It is his original work but cleaned up a little (not that Owen was lacking; the shortcoming is obviously ours.)

It is not abridged or paraphrased, but the editors (Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor) have cleaned up the punctuation, made the outline format a little more logical to a modern-day reader, translated the Latin he constantly throws in, and provided a glossary for out-of-date or uncommon words. I've only attempted to read pre-masticated Owen in the past (letting someone else do the hard work,) so reading the text as he wrote it, has been good. The editors went to great lengths to make Owen more accessible to believers today. Owen states that he wrote these volumes because in his day, even in the best professors, he observed a serious lack of seeing the necessity of constantly waging war against and mortifying the sin that remains within. Not much has changed. I see the absence of it in my own life to a discouraging degree.

So all this to say, if you have wanted to read Owen, but felt overwhelmed like I did, this is an excellent way to have the best of both worlds: easier to understand, yet Owen in his own words.

(I feel like LeVar Burton on Reading Rainbow)

Friday, December 15, 2006

No Christmas Tree?

This will be our second Christmas that we have been married and yet again, we do not have a tree. I'd like to say it is because I have really strong Puritan convictions and refuse to celebrate the holiday because of lack of biblical warrant. However, it's really just because it seems like a big hassle. So I put some garland on my mantle and a bowl of red and green M&Ms out and called it a day.

I'm sure next year we'll have a tree to plop poor Asher in front of (in some teetering-on-the-edge-of-feminine Christmas sweater) to take his picture, but until then, I'll just burn a fir scented candle and pretend.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Go to the Elephant!

I am not Solomon, nor have I been commissioned to add anything to Proverbs, nor do I want to, but if I were to write my own proverb, I would borrow from the "Go to the Ant, O sluggard" proverb in chapter 6 and write "Go to the elephant, O pregnant woman!" Here's why:

I watched a show on the National Geographic Channel the other evening about animals in the womb. It was so fascinating to see the growing process of the dolphins and puppies and elephants in utero. Did you know that an elephant's gestation period is TWO YEARS!!! And before it is born, that poor mama elephant has a 300 lb. baby inside her, kicking around with those big feet! So my 40 weeks of having a little single-digit (Lord willing!) pound baby in me seems very managable, to say the least! So that is my advice for all of you who have been, are, or will be pregnant...Go to the elephant!

And now for an Asher update...We went to the doctor yesterday and everything is looking good, we are thankful to report! I am 26 weeks today, but measuring 27 1/2 weeks, so either somebody has their dates wrong or this baby is a big 'un. I lean towards the latter. His heartbeat was nice and strong at 151 bpm and he continues to wiggle and squirm, much to my delight, because that lets me know he's OK! He can keep me up as much as he wants to.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Baby Tye is Here!

Congrats to Russ and Bethany on the arrival of their baby boy, Tye Maddox Leatherman! I don't have a picture to put on here (yet) but I want to share the good news and say how excited Kris and I are for our good friends!

Psalm 127

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon.

1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children [1] of one's youth.
5 Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Friday, December 1, 2006

my new best friend

Let me preface this by saying, I love being pregnant. All the changes and discomforts are more than worth it, but I have reached a point where I would not dream of leaving home without a bottle of these little beauties in my purse.

But overall, I could not be happier. I am half way through my 24th week and Asher is growing and wiggling and making sure we know he's there! I love feeling him move around. It kind of feels like a big fish flipping around. Not quite as picturesque as the "butterfly flutter" that people say baby movement feels like, but way more accurate in my opinion.

More later...I need to go have some Tums!

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