Monday, April 30, 2007

Next Chapter

Someone from the Quincy Historical Society emailed today, saying they'll look into the Burial records fron Hancock Cemetary. I'll send them photos of the headstone, as well as of the tomb it faces, so they'll know which grave interests me. I'm very excited! I feel like I'm on the PBS show, History Detectives!

Friday, April 27, 2007

History And Mexican Food

Yesterday, we took a bus to Quincy, primarily for the purpose of eating at Fajita's and 'Ritas, which I've wanted to try for years. We got there before I was really ready to eat, so we crossed over to visit Hancock Cemetary. We've visited it before. We keep coming back to a specific gravesite in Hancock Cemetary that has captivated my attention over the past four years. The headstone is cracked in two pieces, and worn so badly that it can't be read, but beside it is a marker saying that it's the grave of someone who fought in the Revolution. So we decided to go to City Hall and see if they had any records that could tell us who's buried there.

They sent us to a Cemetary Coordinator across from the Quincy Police Station. We got almost there (we could see the cemetary where his office is located), but there was a really scarey curb-cut on the corner and absolutely no curb-cut on the other side of the crosswalk. So we turned back, and headed toward Fajita's and 'Ritas. City Hall had given us the man's phone number, so I at least felt happy that we had a lead.

We started to enter the restaurant, and the guy said they were closed. We'd tried to go there Tuesday from Milton, only to find that the bus from Mattapan to Quincy changes routes during the day, and doesn't go by the hospital. Dumb, huh? Anyway, I whined outside the restaurant for a few minutes, and finally made John go in and ask why it was closed. The guy explained that he was the only one waiting tables, and he had to clean up from the lunch crowd. His explanation prompted John to as when he'd open again. He said in about an hour.

So we went to the Adams' National Park office across the street to see if they had records of who was buried in Hancock Cemetry. They did, but only of prominent people. John noted that the guy we're looking for was probably poor, judging from the inferior qualit of granite used for his headstone. So the ranger directed us to Quincy Historical Society, a few blocks away (on the site of John Hancock's birthplace). We got there, but it was closed. However, I figured they'd have a website (which they do, and I emailed them today), so I left encouraged that we now had two leads.

We got back to Fajita's and 'Ritas. Yum! What a wonderful lunch for this homesick California Girl! To my delight, John liked it too, and wants to go back. Maybe we can get an appointment at the Quincy Historical Society, and then eat at Fajita's and 'Ritas!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Blank Canvas

I'm part of a distinct minority. Mondays are my favorite days. They're like blank canvases, full of unexplored possibilities. They feel unhurried, as if I have all the time I need to paint my week's picture. Most people see Monday as a grind--I see it as a beginning. And I wonder if my perspective is more joyful.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Virginia Tech

I can't say anything original about Monday's massacre in Blacksburg. But John MacArthur made some comments on his Grace to You radio broadcast yesterday that bear repeating.

His first interesting point was that any of us could have done what that young man did. Only the restraints of faith in God, the expectations of society, or a strong family structure cause us to reign in our passions. The Bible makes is uncomfortably clear that each of us is intrinsically sinful.

Romans 3:10-18

10 As it is written:
"There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands;There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside;They have together become unprofitable;There is none who does good, no, not one." 13 "Their throat is an open tomb;With their tongues they have practiced deceit";"The poison of asps is under their lips"; 14 "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness." 15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known." 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes." NKJV

Thankfully, Jesus paid the penalty for our sin by dying on the cross. After rising again and ascending to heaven, He sent His Holy Spirit to us. His Spirit lovingly and graciously restrains evil most of the time. Occassionally, as He did Monday, He'll lift that restraint a little, giving us a painful glimpse of who we really are apart from God's grace.

MacArthur also reminded his audience that none of us knows when we will die. Those college kids went to class Monday thinking about final exams in history and economics, not their Final Exam before the Lord of Hosts. We must prepare for that Final Exam by surrendering our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone offters salvation.

John 14:6

6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

Jesus gives us peace in the face of unexplainable tragedy. He saves us from ourselves, and from the power of death. If you don't know this peace, contact me or call a Bible believing church in your area. Blacksberg can open us to the amazing grace that Jesus offers.

Ephesians 3:20

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, NKJV

Monday, April 9, 2007

Applied Bible Study

Studying Matthew's Gospel has really been helping me trust God for my future. I'm using five commentaries in my studies, and praying for the Holy Spirit to show me how to apply what I learn. Wow! That prayer really has been transforming my walk with the Lord! I struggled with doubt and fear a few times during recent problems securing attendant care, but not to the extent that I have in the past. Chapter 6 talks a lot about how He will provide for us, so I kept applying those Scriptures to my situation. My faith is beginning to grow as a result. I wish I'd learned the value of applied Bible Study years ago!

There are many free Bible study tools online. has an excellent selection, unless you have Biblesoft's PC Study Bible installed on your computer (that's what we have). It's so amazing to really dig in to Scripture, and apply it in proper context. I finally see real change in my life, and I think my attitude is more positive toward life. I hope readers of this blog already taking advantage of these tools. If not, I really encourage people to try it. I can honestly say I have greater joy, peace and hope than I ever had in my life since I've been studying for the express purpose of applying what I study to my life.

Friday, April 6, 2007

The Most Important Point

I left my childhood church on Easter Sunday, 1974, never to return. It wasn't the dialogue sermon between the minister and the intern seminary student that turned me off to the church (actually, I thought that was a neat innovation). It wasn't even the seminary student's assumed position that the Resurrection of Jesus was merely figurative (I thought he took that postion for debate purposes only). No...I was troubled by the minister's concluding words: "It doesn't matter if the Resurrection is literal or figurative..."

1 Corintthians 15 says just the opposite. It's too long of a chapter to quote in this blog entry, but in it Paul verifies the Resurrection by claiming that over 500 people saw Jesus after His resurrection. Legally, only two or three eye-witnesses are required to establish a fact, so God left no room for doubt. Additionally, Paul points out that if Jesus did not literally rise from the dead, Christians should be pitied for wasting our time investing in eternal life. If Jesus wasn't bodily raised, no one else will be raised either.

Praise the Lord, Jesus indeed did rise from the dead! Thomas touched His nail-scarred hands, and immediately proclaimed Him "my Lord and my God!" Peter, who just three days earlier, feared persecution so much that he denied ever knowing Jesus, ended up being crucified upside down for insisting that he had seen the risen Lord. Countless other First Century believers died martyrs' deaths rather than renounce His resurrection. If Jesus rose only figuratively, why would so many people accept death for His name's sake? Clearly, they had absolutely no doubt that He had risen!

And His Resurrection is the foundation of my life now. I make daily choices, aware that one day I will stand before Him, both to give an account for my life and, ultimately, to rejoice in His presence for eternity! I can't wait!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Making Frames

Recently, I learned a new technique for creating frames in Paint Shop Pro. Using a photo John took several years ago of a church bell tower, I've made samples of some frames I made since learning this technique. I've done several others, but Blogger probably wouldn't let me put that many images in a single post. Anyway, they'll turn up in future digital paintings!


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