Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thankfulness

For years, I must have grieved the Holy Spirt. Although the Lord had blessed me in abundance, I insistantly clung to my ingratitude because He had kept me single. No matter how many prayers He answered, I believed He had failed me.

One November, I sat through the Thanksgiving sermon, pretty much resenting it (but congratulating myself on my "obedience" to attend church that morning). The pastor challenged us to go home and make a list of reasons to be thankful. I tried. Sort of. At least, I stared at the jounal page in my typewriter for half an hour before typing that I just plain wasn't thankful.

The Lord let me wallow in my self pity for a good 15 or 16 years after that, but finally in 1997 (six months before my first online conversation with John) He let me know that He expected me to choose joy and thankfulness. I'm not perfect at maintaining a thankful attitude, but He's getting me there! I have so much to praise Him for!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And Paul Smith Seems Like Such A Non-Descript Name...

My cousin's husband just sent me an email about the late Paul Smith, a man with Cerebral Palsy who was an artist. A more accomplished artist than I'll ever be! You see, Mr. Smith died before every home had a personal computer. He did his art using a manual typewriter! Those reading my blog as a Facebook note can see the video on my Facebook wall. Those reading the blog directly can see it below:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cheers to Christmas and Cannolis

Yesterday was overcast, but mild, so John and I went to Quincy Market (we wanted a cannoli for dessert). While we were still in our town waiting for the bus, I hit on the idea of eating our main meal at the replica of Cheers, which is just across from Fanueil Hall.




Okay, John missed the Cheers sign, but fans of the show will recognize the slogan and the wooden Indian. But the bar, just inside the entrance, looks very much like the one in the show. I half expected to see Sam or Woody behind it!



After finishing lunch, we did some Christmas shopping at one of the kiosks at Quincy Market. Would you believe we got half the gifts we needed, and spent less than $50? You bet I feel smug!

Finally, we went inside Quincy Market for our cannoli from the North End Bakery. Scrumptious! Next summer, we plan to actually go to the North End itself for a cannoli, but I doubt we'll do any better.

As we came back to Downtown Crossing to get the subway home, we saw the Christmas tree at Macy's. So I'll close with that image.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Little Practice

My artwork has been somewhat neglected lately, so today I gave myself some practice. It's hardly great art, but I learned a few things, and had some fun in the process. And I encouraged myself to spend more time with Paint Shop Pro.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

At Winthrop's Grave

The Lord has placed President-Elect Barack Obama in leadership. I don't understand His purposes in doing so, but Scripture clearly teaches that He brings rulers into power. Though I'm grieving over all the losses America will suffer during His administration (particularly in terms of restrictions on abortion), I recognize my responsibility to prayerfully support the president He has given us.

Yesterday was, for me, a day to mourn. As Obama himself said, America is no longer a Christian nation. To mourn our rejection of Judeo-Christian values, I went to King's Chapel Burial Ground in Boston to lay flowers on the grave of John Winthrop. Winthrop, who came to Massachusetts in 1630 as Massachusetts Bay Colony's first governor, envisioned New England to be a City on a Hill, shining forth as a Christian community. Had he lived to see the founding of the United States of America, I suspect he would have extended that vision.

As I sat next to Winthop's grave, I anticipated Obama's adminstration. A socialist economy. Expanded special priviledges for people who choose to practice homosexual lifestyles. The removal of restrictions on abortion. A softer stance on terrorism. Taxing the rich to further entrap the poor into dependence on the government. It all goes so contrary to a nation that obeys God's Law and seeks His glory. So I wept beside John Winthrop's grave.

But then I moved toward hope. I asked John to take my Bible from my pocketbook and read Psalm 37. America may pass away, but the Lord has an eternal Kingdom awaiting His people. John Winthrop and I will rejoice in that Kingdom of righteousness!


1 A Psalm of David. Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. 6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.
7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret--it only causes harm. 9 For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the Lord, They shall inherit the earth. 10 For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more. 11 But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 12 The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth. 13 The Lord laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming. 14 The wicked have drawn the sword And have bent their bow, To cast down the poor and needy, To slay those who are of upright conduct. 15 Their sword shall enter their own heart, And their bows shall be broken. 16 A little that a righteous man has Is better than the riches of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, But the Lord upholds the righteous. 18 The Lord knows the days of the upright, And their inheritance shall be forever. 19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. 20 But the wicked shall perish; And the enemies of the Lord, Like the splendor of the meadows, shall vanish. Into smoke they shall vanish away.
21 The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives. 22 For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, But those cursed by Him shall be cut off. 23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. 26 He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed. 27 Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell forevermore. 28 For the Lord loves justice, And does not forsake His saints; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off. 29 The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell in it forever. 30 The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of justice. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide. 32 The wicked watches the righteous, And seeks to slay him. 33 The Lord will not leave him in his hand, Nor condemn him when he is judged.
34 Wait on the Lord, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it. 35 I have seen the wicked in great power, And spreading himself like a native green tree. 36 Yet he passed away, and behold, he was no more; Indeed I sought him, but he could not be found. 37 Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; For the future of that man is peace. 38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; The future of the wicked shall be cut off. 39 But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in the time of trouble. 40 And the Lord shall help them and deliver them; He shall deliver them from the wicked, And save them, Because they trust in Him.
~~Psalm 37 (New King James Version)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

No Matter What Happens

The one point of agreement in America this weekend is that next Tuesday's election will determine our nation's future. I believe an Obama presidency would take us into more socialism than we already have. But I'm not blogging today to enumerate the many reasons I've voted against Obama. (I've been sick all weekend, and don't have the energy to type such an exhaustive list.)

Over the past two months, the Lord has drawn me to quite a few Scriptures regarding His Sovereignty over government leaders. If a leader with ungodly policies comes into authority, I must trust God's wisdom. Ultimately, my hope lies in Him, not in presidents, Congress, governors or town selectmen. When I saw this video, I thought it offered a timely reminder that the Lord's in control.

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