Heart Reflections Live
Monday, April 21, 2008
We Love "Greenbeans in the Garden"!
I'm relatively a new-comer to Christian Country Music. I used to listen to Old- Fashioned Christian Radio for the beautiful hymns, and while I loved the beautiful orchestral arrangements,and still do, it was here I also discovered bluegrass hymns- Smoky Mountain style, and that genre, and found them just as appealing.
I was thrilled to find this album online this week. I first heard of The West Girls and their Mother, Vicky, through an article in "Above Rubies" a few years back. They live a simple , agrarian lifestyle in a horse and buggy community in Tennessee, and sing in many of the churches there. Their harmonies are amazing! and their love for the Lord shines through.
Check out this linkhttp://cdbaby.com/cd/westgirls
You'll find an article on the family, you can listen to some of their songs- My favourite is "Wonderful, Merciful Saviour"- and right down the bottom on the left is a link to their only music video, "Greenbeans in the Garden". The children and I love watching this. They're a great example of hardworking, modest young ladies who love Jesus with all their hearts.
If any of my Australian readers know of any Australian stores with this in stock, please let me know!
Think of the Possibility...
William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, wrote these words back in 1884, "Think of the possibility of raising a multitude of men and women whose bodies have never been poisoned by vicious indulgences, whose minds have been enlightened and filled with the principles of Divine truth from their infancy, and whose hearts, from their earliest days, have been inspired with the love of Christ and possessed with the one supreme ambition to glorify the Father, dethrone the devil, destroy sin and save the world!"
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Peaceful Autumn Days
What beautiful Autumn weather, and what blessed days we've had the last couple of weeks. Even with last week's emergency, God's blessings are everywhere and are richly savoured by the Roberts family.
We are currently enjoying a two week break from homeschooling, and what a delightful refreshing time it's been. Amazingly Talitha is now enjoying homeschool so much, she was reluctant to take a break! However my ironing pile had grown over the term and was whispering my name every time I walked past it. Homeschooling is such a lovely relaxing lifestyle, but I've had to reorganize some of my household jobs. Ironing has pretty much been the only area that's suffered. But I guess that's part of our lifestyle choice too- choosing to wear clothes that need ironing. I'm just not a jeans and T-shirt type girl.
Talitha has made wonderful progress in her first term of homeschool. She has gone from, "That's not how they do it at MY school!!!" To now proudly telling people she is homeschooled and that she is reading. Using a simple phonics reader from the internet I had her reading simple books-old fashioned ones from the 70's over her first 3 weeks. Now she is working her way through fascimile copies of my Mother's schoolbooks from the 40s and 50's (from Queensland State schools). Her manners and behaviour have improved a lot over the past few weeks, and she is slowly losing that wordly kind of attitude, she picked up in the Christian school, from the majority of non-Christian students. She is becoming a very compassionate little girl.
Next term Zara will be joining us at the kitchen table. She is very independant and keen to learn. Zara is sooo independant that if she sneezes she says BLESS ME before any else has a chance to get a word in! It will be challenging but fun to have the sisters learning together. Zara joins in a bit anyway, with our devotional and chapter book time, and I'll download some age appropriate stuff for English and Maths. She is used to me reading aloud, and a lot of our history, some science and social studies is done through what we consider to be living books. It was a delight to find the girls playing homeschool and working together, when I came back from my sewing lesson last Saturday.
They'll also be learning French with a family friend. I've found a free online Christian French curriculum for children. There is so much good free stuff online!!!- Even out of print books can be read or even printed if you so desire.
God has also blessed us out of the blue with clothing this week! My husband was given a couple of pairs of jeans for the garden, and the girls were blessed with 6 to 8 dresses between them- all brand names like Osh Kosh, Marks and Spencer and Pumpkin Patch. I'm not a brand snob, but I do like the quality stitching and fabric.
It was a week for enjoying God's creation too, with hubby back in the garden, a couple of days after his hospital trip. The garden was severely neglected for over 10 years, when we moved in here, and he is trying to restore it bit by bit as he is able. Max loves gardening, and it's good exercise for him. The girls have also been enjoying running around in the cooler weather, playing in their snow tree cubby and acting out Bible stories. Baby Moses is still a firm favourite, but they switched to Samson and Delilah the other day, inspired by a piece of wood they said "Was the Jaw bone of an ass!"- Bless their hearts!
I've also finished reading "Stepping Heavenward" by E. Prentiss and found it a great blessing to read of the transformation of a worldly 16 year old to an older Mother at peace near death. It is true that the more we trust in the Sovereignty of our loving Heavenly Father, the greater the peace we will have in this world. It really challenged me not to seek ways out of difficult situations, but to find God's peace through letting him work changes in me through them. I highly recommend this book!
What have you been reading or doing lately?
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
We'll be heading down there this morning, please pray that the oncology department can squeeze him in for an hour for a veinisection- a blood thinning procedure that he needs every so often, as his blood levels are thick again.
Many thanks to all of you who prayed for us!
Urgent Prayer Request!!!
-Please pray for a safe & speedy trip to hospital.
-That the medical staff will listen to Max and check his Chart and confidently follow the instructions.
-Pray that the procedure will be successful and that Max will be kept safe-yet again- by God's grace. He will need amiodorone to stabilise him on arrival, then once stable they should cardio-invert him.
I will phone the hospital for an update about 6 or 7am. Then, once the girls are awake and fed, we will go down there. This is our normal procedure. It's maybe only just over a month since this last happened. Then it was triggered by hornet stings, this time we don't know.
Thank you for praying.
Monday, April 07, 2008
"Living" Heirlooms and the Lessons They Teach Us
Anyone who knows me personally, or has been reading this blog for any length of time, will know I'm definately an old-fashioned girl at heart. Old days and old ways appeal to me, not just for asthetic reasons, but for the lessons time reveals through long treasured objects, and the family stories of faith, love and sacrifice that often accompany them.
So what is a "Living" Heirloom? By my own definition, a living heirloom is a useful one- an object that was loved, admired and used and is still loved, admired and well used.
In days gone by, most homes were furnished with living heirlooms. Many homes were furnished far more sparsely than many today, and the objects therein were useful and greatly treasured. How different from today's throw-away society, with people chasing after the latest this 'n' that...Heritage is thrown to the wind...
Milestone gifts were also greatly treasured- the baby cup, the glory box (or Hope Chest -U.S readers), the 21st birthday gifts and engagement and wedding presents, which almost always included the Family Bible, used for family devotions and also to record births, deaths and marriages- important information to pass down the family line.
My mother now possesses the family bible given to her parents upon their marriage. My Grandfather faithfully read a chapter and prayed and wrote in his diary most nights. The underlined verses are a testament to his faith. Births, deaths and marriages were faithfully recorded and still are- when the sad news reaches of the passing of another Great Aunt or Uncle from that side of the family.
We have recently acquired our own family bible- of course we've always had our own personal well-worn copies- but now we have a special one for recording family events for our descendants. I also hope to use it for family times around the Word. It's white with gold embossing on the cover( KJV of course!), contains excellent cross-references and paintings by some of the great masters of art. It also has extra reference info in the back. This we hope will be a future living heirloom...
So what other items could be classified as living heirlooms? Picture a home from times past... near the Family Bible sits the sewing box- a piece of beauty, not just used daily for sewing and mending, but greatly admired, not simply of itself, but for the love of the owner whose hard-working hands produced each stitch, often by candle or lamplight...
In the corner stands the Glory Box or Hope Chest, still full of baby clothes till the end of the child bearing years. It came into the marriage with the Bride herself, full of the beautiful hand-worked linens, prepared for her new home and new life...
I must digress a minute to tell of my Maternal Grandmother's Glory Box... It was walnut brown, with a soft floral cushioned seat upon it. After the last baby, it became the keeping place for the family photographs, certificates and other important documents.When their farmhouse dwelling caught fire in the late 1950's, the glory box was the first thing grabbed and carried to safety (after the people were safe that is!). It moved twice more with my Grandparents and was one of the few things taken with them when they moved in with my Greatgrandparents to become their carers. The box, still full of photos and documents, became my seat at their dinner table, when I stayed with them on holidays as a teen. How I loved going through the photos with them on my vacations there! Those same photos are now mine and a precious legacy to share with our children. And the glory box? Well... the glory box that kept the family treasures so practically was , very practically sold to an antique dealer, in accordance with my grandmother's wishes to help keep her in her old-age as she moved into a hostel for the final chapter of a life well lived... That book is now closed, but I still remember her glory box when I look at mine ( very different in appearance, but the same in purpose) given to me by my Dad on my 19th birthday. It's still in the baby clothes phase. When our daughters are older(maybe between 12 and 16) we hope to give them glory boxes as a tangible symbol of waiting on the Lord for His best as we teach them Courtship (Our childen will not "date"!). A scripture comes to mind as I gaze at my glory box, Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" Psalm 90:12.
In our home, a clock, a sewing box, an antique tablecloth and lace runners, a hand-held mirror, bone handled knife sharpener and various other items are all living heirlooms that are loved and used. As my hands touch them I am constantly reminded of lives well lived, the faith of the former owners, and the constant ticking of time that compels me to number my days, live for the Lord, and to live in the moment no matter what I am doing.Time and life are precious. I don't want to waste a moment wallowing in self pity or fear of the future. God holds our future in His hands...
This is the way, walk ye in it...
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Our Mary, (Talitha) with eyes of wonder, beholding her Lord!!
Despite being nervous the night before, Talitha was a delightful Mary.
I hope you and yours had a very blessed Easter.
Truly this was the Son of God!!
The Roman Centurian
Pictures from Our Church's Easter Production
Here I am narrating the Story of Easter. As the children's characters were mentioned, they went behind the curtain for their props.
Little John and the High Priest are in costume.
I think it got the message across in a sensitive way, but of course with children, we had a few laughs- especially when both the High Priest and the Roman Centurian had their hats fall off unexpectedly. I unfortunately started to laugh, and had to look away from the kids to gain my composure. All in all, it went over well. The children enjoyed blessing the rest of the church, and every one was impressed by the props, which the children made, nearly all by themselves.