Archive for May, 2007

A Lily of the Valley (Song of Solomon 2:1)

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007
You Are A Lily

You are a nurturer and all around natural therapist.
People see you as their rock. And they are able to depend on you.
You are a soothing influence. You can make people feel better with a few words.
Your caring has more of an impact than even you realize.
What Flower Are You?

It’s been a busy day, and I’m tired, but a Blogthings quiz is easy and fun. 😛 And here’s one more:

Your Vocabulary Score: A

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.
How’s Your Vocabulary?

Laura back in the Whatcom Days

Monday, May 21st, 2007


Laura, would this have been about 5 years ago? You sure worked hard during those community college days. WCC is a beautiful campus, I think. Is that the Laidlaw building in the background?

Enemies to Accomplishment

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

I’m still thinking about making the most of our time while we are here on earth.

The Lord tells us many times in His Word that He expects us to DO SOMETHING WORTHWHILE during our earthly sojourn. In the parable of the ten talents in Matthew 25:14-30, the Lord Jesus tells us that the servant was wicked and slothful (verse 26) who took the one talent given to him by the Master and merely hid it in the ground.

Like the servants in this parable, we too have been given talents by the Lord. We too must grow these talents. What are some enemies to developing our talents in a godly, productive manner? These come to my mind:

  1. Not thinking about life. A lack of knowing ourselves, our talents, and our calling contributes to an unproductive life.
  2. Distractibility; lack of focus
  3. Self-indulgence and laziness
  4. Lack of practice and perseverance
  5. Lack of a goal; just letting life happen each day. It is a common saying, If you aim at nothing, you will hit it.
  6. Entertaining a negative attitude of discouragement
  7. Not even trying
  8. Embracing the false idea that I must be good at everything, resulting in either ineffectual, scattered efforts, or despondency that this is not the case
  9. Flitting mindlessly from activity to activity as each presents itself.
  10. Discounting and devaluing that which has been accomplished thus far, which contributes to discouragement
  11. Mindlessly or compulsively following a routine, such as cleaning a room at a scheduled time, even if it is still clean. Activity in and of itself is not virtuous, but mindful, appropriate, profitable activity is valuable.
  12. Capitulating to social pressure to be or to do what I should not or cannot be or do. For example, a hard-working wife and mother may sometimes feel guilty that she isn’t simultaneously pursuing a dynamic career, doing volunteer work, and attending an institution of higher education full-time.
  13. Procrastinating by carefully and busily doing many things of lesser importance, while somehow never getting to the more important things which must and should be done

The Name Game

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

Today the girls decided that we will all address one another by our middle names. So, for today, I am Momma Marie and Rick is Poppa Paul.

Our sons, from eldest to youngest are Ernst, (Michael doesn’t want to play the game), and Ephraim.

Our twin daughters are Anne and Coleen (Anne is married to Dale, you know, and their son is Dale, also.).

Next we have Grace, then Ruth, Lee and Rose.

Daughter Lee informs me that her nick-name is now R.Lee (pronounced Arley); pretty cute, I think. Don’t know if she really wants to give up her long-standing nick-name of Cadet, though.

Life Accomplishments

Saturday, May 19th, 2007

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

Who knoweth the power of thine anger? Even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. – Psalm 90:10-12

As the above verses state, our time here on earth is so fleeting. I definitely feel the need of teaching from the Lord, that I might spend my time wisely. Evidently there are many other folk who have similar feelings, for it is common to hear warnings of “The Tyranny of the Urgent,” or “The Tyranny of Circumstances.” People are afraid that distractions or impediments will keep them from accomplishing what they were meant to accomplish in this life.

As a Christian, I accept the fact that God made me, and that my purpose in life is to glorify Him in all things. In the Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 1 asks, What is the chief end of man? The answer given is Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever. Or, in I Corinthians 10:31 we read: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. So, the basic underlying assumption I’m making here is that the reader, like me, is a Christian who loves the Lord with her whole heart, and desires to glorify Him in all things.

Another assumption is that the reader is probably American or Canadian, or from some other affluent nation. With our labor we are able to secure our food, clothing, shelter and much more beside, and still have time and energy left over to ask, “How may I wisely spend my time here, to God’s glory?” Our energies are not totally consumed in a struggle for bare survival, as is the case for so many of our brothers and sisters in war-torn or poor countries.

The choices of vocation and activities and interests available to us in our relatively free nations can be mind-boggling. How do we narrow these down, and make the most of ourselves and our time here? Some self-knowledge is useful:

  1. What are my aptitudes? I need not worry about becoming an athlete, for example, if I don’t have the ability to excel in sports.
  2. What are my interests? If I am extremely interested in brain development, an educational or medical career may be feasible.
  3. What are my resources? Do I have, or can I obtain assistance with the finances necessary for particular training in which I am interested?
  4. What talents have I developed? A person who keeps a sketch book, who delights to draw and paint, and who thinks of new projects and completes them, may have a realistic hope of becoming an artist.
  5. What do I simply enjoy doing, when there are no pressing demands? This can be a further indication of true interests. What volunteer opportunities do I pursue, for example?

The next step is to start making the choices that are clear, based upon self-knowledge and circumstances. These choices help to limit us in a helpful way, so that we know where to focus our attention. Proverbs 17:24 says Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth. We will never accomplish anything worthwhile if we cannot focus our attention on some goal.

GrampaPoppa and Deeder

Thursday, May 17th, 2007


We had balmy, sunny weather while Laura and Diederick were here for a visit. (Now we’re back to Washington-gray-probably-going-to-rain weather. :P) Here we see Rick holding the dear little boy out on the back patio.

When I think about what a blessing a grandchild is, I think of Psalm 128. Here is the metrical version from The Scottish Psalmody (1650):

Bless’d is each one that fears the Lord, and walketh in his ways;
For of thy labour thou shalt eat, and happy be always.

Thy wife shall as a fruitful vine by thy house’ sides be found:
Thy children like to olive-plants about thy table round.

Behold, the man that fears the Lord, thus blessed shall he be.
The Lord shall out of Sion give his blessing unto thee:

Thou shalt Jerus’lem’s good behold whilst thou on earth dost dwell.
Thou shalt thy children’s children see, and peace on Israel.

Sweet Grandbaby

Monday, May 14th, 2007


Well, Diederick is finally feeling right at home here at the Taron Homestead, but it’s just about time for the sweet boy to travel home with his mama to Vermont, where Daddy is waiting patiently to see his cutie-pies again.

What a great visit we have had, but it seems to have passed by so quickly.

The Christ-centered Life

Sunday, May 13th, 2007

The text for the sermon which Pastor Chris Gordon preached this morning at the Lynden United Reformed Church was Philippians 4:10-13:

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Emphasis added.)

One point that Rev. Gordon made was that Paul had to learn contentment, since contentment doesn’t come naturally. We, like Paul, must exercise diligence to understand what biblical contentment really is. It is so out of the ordinary that Paul speaks of contentment as “a secret”:

I know how to be abased, and I know also how to abound: in everything and in all things have I learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in want. (Emphasis added.)
American Standard Version 1901

First, the Pastor pointed out some things that are commonly mistaken for Christian contentment:

  1. Contentment is not STOICISM. The Literature Dictionary, published by Houghten Mifflin Company defines stoicism as follows:
    A philosophy that flourished in ancient Greece and Rome. Stoics believed that people should strictly restrain their emotions in order to attain happiness and wisdom; hence, they refused to demonstrate either joy or sorrow.
  2. Contentment does not mean being content with wrong things, or thinking that all there is to the Christian life is unmitigated suffering.
  3. Contentment is not a matter of mind-over-matter, whereby one ignores bad things and thinks only about good things.

Rev. Gordon defined contentment as a holy self-sufficiency, whereby we may remain independent of the things that are happening to us. Paul sought to communicate this truth to the Philippians when he thanked them for their generous gift to him in the Roman prison, but made a point of telling them that he would have been content, in the Lord, even without the gift.

How does one attain, in sanctification, this holy self-sufficiency of Christian contentment? The answer is in Philippians 1:21: For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. To live the Christian life, Christ must be the center of our lives. To be content we must:

  • Know Christ.
  • Commune with Him.
  • Go to Him with our cares.
  • Abide in Him.
  • Have Christ as the center of our existence.

We cannot live the Christian life without Christ.

For Masculine Reform – Rick Phillips of Reformation 21

Friday, May 11th, 2007

One of the writers on the Reformation 21 blog is Rick Phillips. In my opinion, he is so “right on” regarding the roles and responsibilities that the Lord has given specifically to men and to women. There is so much complaint about feminism in Christ’s church. Much of this complaint is legitimate. However, as Rick Phillips points out from time to time, the root cause of this problem may very well originate with the men in the church. One of his statements is:

I have often argued that whatever problem we have with feminism in American and evangelical culture, the greater problem by far is the unbiblical masculinity that has often produced it.

For more interesting reading from Rick Phillips, click here.

More Quizzes

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

More Fun Quizzes at

More Fun Quizzes at