Thursday, December 30, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
This year has been different for me. The brokenness of human relationships has pounded my mind and torn open scars in my heart. Usually, the music of the season is going so long (an October start) and so loud in my car and in my home that by December 14th my family is pretty much done with me and my Christmas music.
October came and I did started to listen to Christmas music a little bit. I texted a friend to see when she started to listen to the songs of celebration and she responded with "the day after game day" which would be 2 days after Thanksgiving and then she wrote, "Mostly O Holy Night." I have that one by 7 different artists. It is really the only one that I have paid attention to this season.
Going to my computer I wanted to find out the history of the song. These are the words we normally sing:
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
Incarnation: Emmanuel, God is with us. Strangely, I have felt at a loss at how to celebrate and acknowledge that the Creator of the Universe took on flesh and walked among us. I guess you might say I am on a search for simplicity.
The above words of O Holy Night is John Sullivan Dwight's translation. The original song was derived from French poet Placide Cappeau. Here is the literal English translation:
Midnight, Christians, it is the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.
People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!
May the ardent light of our Faith
Guide us all to the cradle of the infant,
As in ancient times a brilliant star
Guided the Oriental kings there.
The King of Kings was born in a humble manger;
O mighty ones of today, proud of your greatness,
It is to your pride that God preaches.
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.
People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!
This is the first year in many years that I did not purchase any additional music to add to my December collection. I never got off the ground with my usual listening tradition. A couple of Boston radio stations started their holiday tunes in November and I found myself changing the station once I heard the voice of Johnny Mathis or Bing Crosby or The Carpenters.
I came very close to abandoning all of the usual traditions. However, we had already made plans with extended family and I had committed to hosting one side and attending the other side's festivities. I did manage to enjoy being with extended family. Of course, we are very happy to have our "girls" home even while having to continue to adjust to their adult status. The relatives wanted to see them too.
I really want to think about revisiting the idea of simplifying Christmas for 2011 perhaps in February. There are traditions that are worth keeping: like reflecting on the Babe in the Manger, singing and enjoying Christmas music, seeing relatives and friends.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Monday, December 06, 2010
In the past few years my sleeping habits have changed and I am usually in bed by 10 PM when I am at home. Well, I knew that tonight's game would be big, but I thought I might fall asleep. NO WAY, the cold, the adrenaline and of course the action of the New England Patriots have kept me totally engaged.
Yes! I am a fan since before the days of Tom Brady.
Play offs and then on to the Superbowl 2011
chances look good for the Patriots.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
For several generations there is silence and then from the tribe of Judah, Jesse would become the father of David, who would be the least likely son to become King of Israel.
To Date: it is a continuous History lesson and one that my children learned during the preparations of Christmas.
5 "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved, an Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called:'The LORD is our righteousness.' Jeremiah 23;5
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
3"The former things I declared of old;
they went out from my mouth, and I announced them;
then suddenly I did them, and they came to pass.
4Because I know that you are obstinate,
and your neck is an iron sinew
and your forehead brass,
5 I declared them to you from of old,
before they came to pass I announced them to you,
lest you should say, 'My idol did them,
my carved image and my metal image commanded them.'
6"You have heard; now see all this;
and will you not declare it?
From this time forth I announce to you new things,
hidden things that you have not known.
Now I am looking at Isaiah 48 and since the devotion today sets us up for the rest of the book, I thought I would give you my take on it. Only God has ever perfectly proclaimed those things that are yet to come. When I read, "hidden things that you have not known." It makes me think not only of the coming of the LORD but also, of those things yet to come in my own life and the life of the Lord's Church. His Bride being prepared for the Bridegroom and the LORD's second coming.
The Bible is a Living Word and we can trust in what God has left us, His Holy Word and he says here in Isaiah 48 I spoke it out and it happened. He announces new things and we can be sure that God's Word will come to pass.
I am looking forward to revisiting this book and looking again at the coming of Emmanuel.
Sunday, November 07, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Some crimes you pay with your very blood, some you pay with your time and most you pay with your soul. Crime doesn't pay. It does however cost.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Thursday, September 02, 2010
In celebration of the 375th Anniversary of Concord Massachusetts
Fridays, Wednesday & Saturdays September 10, 11, 15, 17, 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays September 11, 12, 18, 19 at 2:00 p.m.
For some time I have been meaning to blog about this production, the true story of those early settlers and the natives of this land in "The Bay Colony" as Massachusetts was once known and how they related to one another and live together. My husband Dan is one of the cast members. In keeping with New Life Fine Arts mission statement, "Theatre you can believe in" everything is done with excellence, the music, the story, the sets and the costumes are beautifully crafted so that the story may be brought to life together with the actors, singers and musicians.
For Tickets and Further information visit
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
"So they left that goodly and pleasant city which had been their resting place near twelve years; but they knew they were Pilgrims, and looked not much on those things, but lift up their eyes to the heavens, their dearest country, and quieted their spirits."BradfordOf Plymouth Plantation
Friday, August 06, 2010
It has been just over 3 weeks since I started to work on my 9131 blog post. Not sure if I will finish before I leave for vacation. Anyway, it has to do with sobriety. As some of you may know, I like to read other people's blogs as well. Josh Harris is one that I recently started to follow.....that is what blog readers do....follow.
Anyway, I have a hundred things running through my head right now.
Here is a sample:
My girls being together tonight.
9131 post still incomplete.
Christmas in July failings
My first of many trips to the PO to send a package or two to Lookout Mtn, GA.
Waking at Dark 30 as my friend Laurie likes to call it
The probability of 3 kids in college at the same time
Having too many books going
My uncanny ability to bless and curse with the same mouth
Sunshine kisses at dawn
Old friends New friends
Time for bed (not really but maybe)
Life and Death
We are all so fragile. Life can change in an instant.
Hoping for a warm September
Thursday, August 05, 2010
A Daily Devotional that I subscribe to....from Truth for Life
Extravagant GoodnessLuke 8:42
Jesus is passing through the crowd heading for the house of Jairus, so that he might raise the ruler's dead daughter. He is so extravagant in His goodness that He works another miracle on His way there. It is enough for most of us, if we have one purpose, to go immediately and accomplish it, without impulsively expending our energies on the way. Rushing to the rescue of a drowning friend, we cannot afford to use up our strength upon someone else in similar danger. It is enough for a tree to yield one sort of fruit and for a man to fulfill his own peculiar calling.
But the Lord Jesus is not limited in His power or restricted in His mission. He is so prolific in grace that, like the sun that shines as it rolls onward in its orbit, His path is radiant with loving-kindness. He is a swift arrow of love that not only reaches its ordained target but perfumes the air through which it flies. Virtue is always going out of Jesus, just as sweet fragrance exudes from flowers; and it will always be emanating from Him, like water from a sparkling fountain.
What delightful encouragement this truth affords us! If our Lord is so ready to heal the sick and bless the needy, then, my soul, do not be slow to put yourself in His path so that He may smile on you. Do not be lazy in asking, since He is so generous in giving. Pay careful attention to His Word now and at all times, so that Jesus may speak through it to your heart. Pitch your tent wherever He is so that you can obtain His blessing. When He is present to heal, may He not heal you? Be certain that He is present even now, for He always comes to hearts that need Him. And do you not need Him? He knows the extent of your need; so turn your gaze, look upon your distress, and call upon Him while He is near.
Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright (c) 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth For Life with written permission. Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright (c) 2001, Good News Publishers.
9131 is still a work in progress
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Sunday, July 04, 2010
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Lately, my reflections and evaluations of bringing up children at home have been a lopsided ledger. I have been able to see my liabilities and can't seem to find my assets under all of them. A couple of interactions with my young adult children have helped me to find some and my husband will say, "look at them. The three of them are wonderful people and you had a LOT to do with that." My response to that is "only by the grace of God." I really don't want to take any credit.
Then I read the following on another Christian Mom's blog:
If I neglect the challenge to teach and train my children to transition from a busy school year to a relaxed summer schedule I will resent them. The un-interrupted quiet time I have when the kids are at school give me mornings at the throne of grace. Those peaceful hours help me focus on the things that matter. (to read the post in its entirety)
First, I will share my response to this part of the post
I just recently started following your blog. It was never my intent to post a comment, thinking that I would just be lurking, reading and digesting. My children are probably quite a bit older than yours. Something struck me and well I may blog about it because it was as if the LORD was speaking to me through you. What touched me was this:
"If I neglect the challenge to teach and train my children to transition from a busy school year to a relaxed summer schedule I will resent them. The un-interrupted quiet time I have when the kids are at school give me mornings at the throne of grace. Those peaceful hours help me focus on the things that matter."
When my kids were small (3 under 7), I would do my best to rise before they did to have that "un-interrupted quiet time" and quite often I would end up with one of them cuddling with me. Each of them knew that this was mum's time with the LORD, they were welcomed to be with me but they needed to be quiet. The first time I sent any of my kids off to school was last year when my oldest went off to college. (now they are 3 who are all over 17)
Thank you for inspiring me and reminding me of God's faithfulness.
Time for me to blog the rest of my thoughts.
What strikes me now is the phrase, "focus on the things that matter most" and for me the raising (which included teaching and training) children at home was the primary focus. When children are small especially under the age of 7, which lots of people consider the formative years, and one chooses to gives away the best part of their children's day to be shaped and molded by someone else, the testimony of honest people is a lot of unlearning has to be done at home. This takes tremendous effort and a fair amount of tenacity. I can only imagine that it is like fighting against a great tide. The worldview of the teachers, the authority factor, and the time children spend under the roof and influence of a school seems to me like a strong opponent to set against a pair of loving parents.
Long ago, I came to believe that it takes a greater amount of faith to send your kids to school, often placing them under the authority of someone you don't know, then to keep them at home. I still believe it.
As I continue to think about what my fellow blogger is saying, I can’t help but think that she is the one who is in need of learning to be flexible in the transition from delegating the responsibility of her children to others to taking back the full responsibility in order to avoid resenting them. Depending on the kid, it is usually one of two reactions to the end of school: the old Alice Cooper, “School’s out for summer! No more teachers, no more books…..” or “I am bored and I wish I was back in school.” I suppose there are those kids who are middle of the road and simply tolerate the fact that they have to go to school. However, I think most parents have harder time transitioning from a school schedule to a summer schedule.
Parents need to be parents. It is up to us to establish authority in the home. In a culture that is so focused on our right to be individuals, it is hard to operate as a family and value family life even when one chooses to raise children at home and maintain that authority and responsibility. Children who are in a classroom setting whether public or private may be encouraged to respect the teacher and one another but it is hard to create an atmosphere that calls for unity. Let’s try to imagine.
“Good morning, my name is Mrs. Mullaney and I will be your teacher this year from September 2010 to June 2011. As 5th graders, I expect that you will respect me as your authority and respect one another as fellow classmates. This year as my students, I will expect one more thing and it will require each of you to cooperate. We will conduct ourselves as a united class. It will be like being on a ship setting out on a voyage at sea. I will be the Captain and you will be my crew. In order to have a successful outing we will have to work together. Every crew member must pull his own weight and at the same time look out for one another, helping each other, encouraging each other and at times you may need to rescue a classmate or even your Captain.”
A student raises her hand and says, “Mrs. Mullaney that sounds like Kindergarten stuff.”
“Agreed and students who are educated do not leave the basics behind. An education is built upon a foundation. This is a foundational principle of the Farview Ave School. If you want to do well in this class and in life then you will agree to follow it.”
Objecting the student replies: “We are not just fellow classmates, we are competitors. I see how it is good to be united. My family is united by the fact we believe that each of my siblings and I ought to be at the top of the class. We are achieving just that and will continue to do so.”
Let’s say at this point, I have done some preparations knowing full well there will be objectors and that this student indeed has been at the top of her class since kindergarten, doesn’t have a lot of friends, and does not have a problem with treading on others to get to the top.
“Unlike the other teachers in this school, your attitude toward me and your classmates will factor in to all your grades in every subject.”
The objecting student wants to object again, it is written all over her face as the other students and I can plainly see. With all eyes on her she sets her jaw and straighten up in her seat.
“I believe that you can still be competitive but in our class, it will be required that you compete with integrity. Those of you who are already what other teachers might call ‘good students’ will help those who are struggling students to become better students and in so doing you will become not only better students yourselves but you will become better people because of your willingness to help others.”
If this were a real classroom and I had maybe 15 students, I may be winsome enough to achieve this unity, but the odds are against me. Probably the administration would be against me as well. (unless of course I produced great results ;-)
Amy went on to talk about every summer day to be a precious diamond day with her children. I contend that childhood is SO short that to have shared summer, fall, winter and spring days with my kids for more than 20 years has been precious and almost seems like too few. To say that I am grateful to have had my children at home with me would be an understatement. Instructing them and learning along side them (I became a Christian at 21), growing up with them in the faith and sharing everyday life with them has been a gift, an incredible gift from my Heavenly Father.
Our decision to educate our children at home did not entail any romantic notion of enjoying family life. It was a decision made after looking at all the options available: private, public and home schooling. Prayerfully researching and seeing that the best chance for discipling our children in the LORD was to not just have them at home but walk through life and be in this world along side them.
(to be continued)