Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thoughts on J.C. Ryle

John Charles Ryle (1816-1900)

J. C. Ryle was a prolific writer, vigorous preacher, faithful pastor, husband of three wives (widowed three times) and the father to five children. He was thoroughly evangelical in his doctrine and uncompromising in his Biblical principles.

In 1880, after 38 years in Pastoral ministry in rural England, at age 64, he became the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool. He retired in 1900 at age 83 and died later the same year at the age of 84.

Today, I am going to share some quotes from J. C. Ryle. He is an author who lived around a hundred years ago and had many things to share about domestic and spiritual issues that we face from day to day. Here are some examples of a few of his books:

When my children were younger, I often read selections of J.D. Ryle's writings to them. It seemed heavy and over their heads, yet, occasionally one of my sons would find one of his books worthy of reading. Each of my sons was given the book, "Thoughts for Young Men" to read. It is such a wonderful book!!

When I would read to my children, I just had no idea whether there would ever be fruit from my faulty efforts. I will likely never know!! So many things we read goes down deep into our conscious thought and we don't remember where we got this or that from. In conversation, haven't you occasionally shared something which you KNOW you read somewhere and you don't remember which book or article it was from?! Well, in the same respect, I think some of the things we read to our children will not show obvious fruit until we pass on to our eternal home.


This is also a good reason for younger moms to be encouraged to read aloud to your children. It is a good time to cuddle with your children and build eternal values through books. Your children will never be able to forget the overall impact these years had on them spiritually. If they walk with the Lord, the words from the authors will have a heavy impact on their young lives. If they walk away from the relationship and gift that the Lord is offering to them, they still will never ever be able to fully forget all that you taught them. 

I hope and pray that this never happens to any of your children. I see so many families who are godly, godly families who have one or sadly  even more children who have not chosen the eternal relationship available to us in Jesus Christ. If you have such a child, please feel free to email me and share with me the first name of your child, as I will pray!!

If I haven't lost you....here are the quotes that I found, taken from J.C. Ryle's book, "Practical Religion" 1878)

"Strive to enter in at the straight gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able!" Luke 13:24

"STRIVE" teaches that a man must expect many adversaries and a hard battle--if he would have his soul saved. And this, as a matter of experience, is strictly true. There are no "gains without pains" in spiritual things--any more than in temporal things. That roaring lion, the devil--will never let a soul escape from him without a struggle. The heart which is naturally sensual and earthly--will never be turned to spiritual things without a daily fight. The world, with all its opposition and temptations--will never be overcome without a conflict.

I warn you to take heed that you do not perish forever--for lack of "striving." Do not suppose that it needs some great scarlet sin to bring you to the pit of eternal destruction! You have only to sit still and do nothing--and you will find yourself there at last. Yes! Satan does not ask you to walk in the steps of Cain, and Pharaoh, and Ahab, and Judas Iscariot. There is another road to Hell quite as sure--the road of spiritual indolence, spiritual laziness, and spiritual sloth!

Satan has no objection to your being a respectable member of the Christian Church. He will allow you to sit comfortably in church every Sunday you live. He knows full well, that so long as you do not "strive"--that you must come at last to the worm that never dies, and the fire that is never quenched! Take heed that you do not come to this end. I repeat it, you have only to do nothing--and you will be eternally lost!

Think, think above all things, what a state this is to die in! Your life is but a vapor. A few more years at most--and you are gone! Your place in the world will soon be filled up; your house will be occupied by another.
The sun will go on shining;
the grass and daises will soon grow thick over your grave;
your body will be food for worms,
and your soul will be lost to all eternity!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Jesus is the Reason for the Season

The best way of 

and through this week

 and all through December


To keep Jesus in the Season


He is the Reason for the Season!!

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: 
And the government shall be upon his shoulder:
And his name shall be called 
The mighty God,
The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

With all the hustle and bustle and rushing around 

that tends to come with this time of

year, don't forget to leave 

Jesus as the central theme in all your preparations 

for this season of the year. 

It is not just another 'holiday' it is remembering that 

Jesus came as a newborn baby, 

born to Mary and Joseph more than two-thousand years ago. 

"But God commended his love toward us,
in that,
While we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.
Much more then,
Being now justified by his blood,
We shall be saved from wrath through him."
(Romans 5:8-9)

"For all have sinned,
And come short of the glory of God:"
(Romans 3:23)

He came to die on the cross

for our sins so that we would have 

the opportunity to have Eternal Life 

through Jesus Christ who shed His blood for us on the Cross. 

The most important thing to ask yourself is: 

"Do I know where I will spend eternity?" 

Christmas is a time to build relationships with our family and friends, 


have we neglected the most important 

relationship of all? 


wants to have a personal relationship with 


Are you certain that you have a personal relationship with Jesus? 

If not, why not? If not, this Season will 

truly be empty, yet filled with the 

fast-paced hustle and bustle, 

decorating, shopping, 

parties, and such.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Habit!!

Dearest Ladies,

Happy Thanksgiving!! 

"Praise ye the LORD.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
While I live will I praise the LORD: 
I will sing praises unto my God while I have my being."
(Psalm 146:1)

I am thankful for each breath of life!!

I am thankful for the hope and promise of eternal life!!

I am thankful for my dear husband!!

I am thankful for my children and the privilege of raising them!!

I am thankful my husband loves his job and the provision God always gives through it!!

I am thankful for our special home on top of a small mountain in the woods!!

I am thankful for our church family, and our wonderful pastor and his precious wife!!

I am thankful for friends around the world!!

I am thankful for my parents!!

I am thankful for all my blogger friends!!

I am thankful for 

Worshiping the Lord 






I am thankful for YOU!!

Enjoy this short two page article I found.

 It is allowed to be shared with others, so pass it on if you wish.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Planning our Day of Thanksgiving

In looking over my Thanksgiving recipes, I chose not to repeat some, and add new ones. Sometimes it is good to make a variation on the old and mix it with something new. At some point, I put all my Christmas cookies into a binder along with my Thanksgiving recipes. Around Thanksgiving, we start to think about Christmas and it is easiest to have both holidays in the same spot, or I'd never ever find what I am looking for!!

Yesterday, I told you that I found this cute little cupcake recipe from Betty Crocker. I decided to make them for our church Thanksgiving dinner as there will never be time once we start making pies and what-nots. The children all loved them!! They were (of course) full by the time dessert came along, and so they exclaimed over these turkeys, picked the candy off of them, and licked the frosting. One seven-year-old boy took three plates of dessert and actually finished most of it!! 

I re-posted the Turkey Cupcake recipe below, and typed out my chocolate cake recipe that I have been baking for many years. I substituted the boxed cake and frosting with my recipe but if you choose to make these cupcakes do whatever you like best. Cooking from scratch is something I enjoy, but you may know how to do something I cannot do at all.

Mom's Chocolate Cake

1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
5 eggs
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2  teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4  cups milk

350F for 40 minutes and about 20 minutes for cupcakes
Cool 10 minutes


1 cup butter
4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoon vanilla
4-5 tablespoons milk

Mix all the sugars together in the mixer, then add the vanilla and egg yolks. I whip the egg whites until they peak, then add them to the batter. Mix all the dry ingredients together so that the baking soda and baking powder do not clump together in the batter because you were in a hurry and dumped them all in at once with the butter and sugar. As you add the dry ingredients, add the milk a little at a time. Be sure never to frost a warm cake!!  Maybe this is a 'no-brainer' to everyone but me!! If you knew how many cakes just didn't turn out picture purfect, you would know why I am saying this!!

Another staple on our Thanksgiving table this year will be my Cortland Potato Rolls. I think I found this recipe in some magazine around a zillion years ago as I remember making it the first time I had company back when we were newly-weds. I made one royal mess that wasn't cleaned up by the time my company arrived at our tiny cottage. After that, my potato rolls were reserved for Thanksgiving and Christmas....special times. 

Cortland Potato Rolls

3 medium sized potatoes, pared and quartered
2 tablespoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar or honey
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup veggie shortening
1/2 cup honey (or sugar when honey gets too expensive!!)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups flour

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water 15 minutes or until soft. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the potato cooking water, then mash potatoes.

Place 1/2 cup of the very warm potato water in large bowl. Sprinkle yeast over water; add sugar and stir to dissolve yeast. Let stand 10 minutes or until bubbly.

Heat butter, shortening and remaining 1/2 cup of the potato water in small saucepan just until butter is melted. Cool to lukewarm. Stir into yeast mixture with honey, eggs, salt and mashed potatoes. Beat with electric mixer until well blended.

Add 2 1/2 cup of flour; beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes or by hand for 200 strokes (this recipe dates itself). Gradually stir in 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups  more flour to make a dough that holds together and leaves the side of the bowl.

Turn out onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in large greased bowl, turning to bring greased side up. Cover; let rise in a warm place, away from draft, until double in bulk. About 1 1/2 hours.

Punch dough down; turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead a few times to press out air bubbles. Cut down in 1/2. Let rest 10 minutes.

Divided each 1/2 into 16 pieces. Shape into smooth balls, place in 2 greased baking pans. Cover, let rise.

Bake at 400F degrees for 25 minutes.  Makes 32 rolls.

Traditionally, in our family, I have stuffed my turkey for Thanksgiving. I have baked it right side up and upside down. I read somewhere, how you can bake it right side up and then turn it half way through the baking time for extra tenderness and juiciness. Another tip a friend told me yesterday was to put a whole onion in the cavity of the bird. Isn't it interesting how you can always be learning something new?!

I have made anything from a traditional boring stuffing to more exciting ones with anything from sausage added, to apples or cranberries. The cranberries look pretty but I don't know how to get away from the tart taste without a way to add sugar. Maybe if a bit of homemade cranberry sauce was added that would do the trick!! I have often used French bread in the stuffing but I think I will go easy this year and use one of those  cornbread packages. I'm into cornbread this year!!

Another favorite on the Thanksgiving menu at our house is the Green Bean Casserole. You can find this recipe on the sides of green bean cans, I believe, and on the French Onion container or bag. Of course, you couldn't make this when I was growing up because the French Onion Flakes hadn't been invented!! Now, we can't live without them!! Too bad the Pilgrims missed out on this dish at their feast!!

In case you are tired of your version...there are myriads of recipes through Betty Crocker that might fit the taste buds of your family. Just because the ingredients are found in a recipe doesn't mean that your family will find it delicious...tweak the recipe and adapt it to fit your needs. 

These are just a few of the things that we will be cooking up this year for Thanksgiving. We will also have sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, mashed potatoes, store-bought and homemade cranberry sauce, pickles and of course green olives, corn, always corn, and pies, lots of pies. 

Remember to be thankful this week as you prepare, shop, and cook, then eat the bounties that the Lord has provided for you. God is so good. His mercy is incomprehensible. I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and seven wonderful children. I am thankful for the salvation that the Lord has given me. 


Preparing My Heart and Home for Thanksgiving!!

As we prepare for Thanksgiving,  I thought it would be a good idea to prepare our hearts and our home!! I am hoping that this Thursday will be the very best Thanksgiving our family has ever had...and to do that, I must prepare my heart as well as our home. Otherwise, I will be a bit stressed and overwhelmed with all the work involved as it will take away from the joy and thanksgiving the day should bring. The memory of this special day will not be as sweet if my heart isn't abiding in the Lord as I serve my family.

For the past few weeks, I have been impressed with the idea of "Making My Home Sing Monday"  as it is the day when I have to restore the upheaval that the weekend brings to our schedules, and get the laundry and home back in order. What better time to start this than just before Thanksgiving!!

Last Friday, I finally sat down to think through what I plan to cook this year for Thanksgiving. Of course, this might change a bit as soon as one or both of my daughters  enter the kitchen with their indiviuality :-) . There were rumblings of making a totally original meal but so far I think that our day will include a rather traditional approach, at least traditional for our family. I enjoyed thinking through everything, and making sure the recipes are in the binder I have for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It sounds organized, and in a way, I guess it is, except that I am so sidetracked and discombobulated that I forget what to do, where to find it (as it leaves my brain) and having it in one place sure helps!! At least, as long as I can find that binder next year!!

Singing is an uplifting attitude to start off with on Mondays. Singing to the Lord helps us to keep everything in the right perspective and to keep our attitudes pleasing to Him.

Praise ye the LORD.
Praise the LORD,
O my soul.
While I live will I praise the LORD:
I will sing praises unto my God
While I have my being.
(Psalm 146:1 & 2)

I thought it fitting to also type out a favorite hymn that I have long associated with Thanksgiving. 

Come, Ye Thankful People, Come 

Come, ye thankful people, come, 
Raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, 
Ere the winter storms begin; 
God, our Maker, doth provide 
For our wants to be supplied; 
Come to God's own temple, come, 
Raise the song of harvest home. 

All the blessings of the field, 
All the stores the gardens yield; 
All the fruits in full supply, 
Ripened 'neath the summer sky; 
All that spring with bounteous hand 
Scatters o'er the smiling land; 
All that liberal autumn pours 
From her rich o'er-flowing stores: 

These to thee, our God, we owe, 
Source whence all our blessings flow; 
And for these our souls shall raise 
Grateful vows and solemn praise. 
Come, then, thankful people, come, 
Raise the song of harvest-home; 
Come to God's own temple, come, 
Raise the song of harvest-home. 

Peak Tram

Victoria Peak Tramway, Victoria Island, Hong Kong, China

When I was a little girl, my first memories of Thanksgiving were sitting in church and hearing this cable-tram rattle and rumble past the church as it climbed the steep mountain. It was the early 1960s, and Thanksgiving was a very, very special day!! First of all because it was Thanksgiving, an American holiday. Secondly, because I had no school that day because I was an American. All the other children had to go to school because we went to a British Government School. Do you associate a song with a memory?? I cannot sing this song without thinking of those early Thanksgivings when I was little and my whole family was together. Just as the Pilgrims had a rich heritage, so each of us do also. I am thankful for growing up overseas in a Christian family who taught me the value of being grateful for what God has done for me.

Today, as I think ahead to later in the week, it is a good idea to have some songs in my heart and to be thankful to the Lord for what he is doing in my life and that of my family. If I start today with a song...I will be more likely to have a song on Thursday when we sit down to eat. For now, I will share a few of my plans for Thanksgiving as for me, it doesn't come together smoothly without some forethought.

It all started about twenty-five years or so ago when I made my first Thanksgiving dinner. Before that, we had celebrated with family. Those were fun days!! I found a magazine and searched for ideas on cooking turkey and the other fixin's...no internet then!! I saved that magazine from 1984 and now have it in a binder (the recipe section) all protected in plastic sheets. 

Last Friday, I sat down to make sure I knew what I was doing (sidetracked and scatter-brained....I needed to do this!!) and selected recipes and made a grocery list (and checked it twice!!)!!

Just a minute...I have to switch the laundry...I forgot it!! 

I'm back!! You know, we had our Thanksgiving dinner after church on Sunday, and I did so much cooking that Mount Never-Rest was higher than usual!!!!

Sunday, was good!! It was like a practice for Thanksgiving later this week. One thing I decided for sure, was to make my potato rolls on Thursday. They are so much fresher!! I have made them since we were first married, but when the children were all little, it only made sense to make them the night before. Saturday, I made them for church, and they were disappearing to happy mouths until I put a sign on the remainder of the rolls, "For Sunday!!"

This morning, I gave the house a good cleaning hoping it will last. Ha!! It is always easier to clean a relatively clean house. It makes a nice atmosphere so long as my attitude is just as squeaky clean!! That is another way of "Making My Home Sing Mondays" I have thought of that plenty, each week as I thought of something I would blog (and didn't) as I cleaned up after the weekend. Didn't you know that it is a good idea to have a good attitude as you clean your home for your family? If your children are young yet, and they are helping you, it does good like medicine to have a mom that has a good attitude while you clean together. It isn't always easy!!

Yesterday, the turkey was all oven ready so I could cook it a couple hours before church. My oldest (grown) daughter had it ready for me along with the cornbread stuffing. We took it to church and cooked it the rest of the way during church in one of those big roaster ovens. I had also made homemade cranberry sauce, Cortland Potato Rolls (that I have made since we were first married), and Turkey Cupcakes. They turned out almost as cute as the Betty Crocker picture!!

Well, tomorrow, I will share more along the lines of Thanksgiving including the recipe I made the cupcakes with...because if you know me, I enjoy cooking from scratch!!

It is time to finish up the laundry, start cooking supper, and be ready when my dear husband comes home. Writing this has been good medicine for me as much as I hope and pray that it has been good fellowship for you to be reading it. 


"Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; Praise him, O ye servants of the LORD." (Praise 135:1)

Making your home sing Mondays

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Some Day the Silver Cord Will Break

Someone asked about this hymn recently and it got me meditating on it. I found it speaking to my heart as all hymns by Fanny Crosby will do. A week ago, our pastor spoke about the Lord giving us a song to bring us through those 'times' in our life. I think that this is the song that the Lord is giving to me for this week. I hope that it speaks to your heart as it did mine. Does the Lord also give you songs of deliverance? Hymns are so filled with spiritual truths. I love the old hymns . . . I am sure that you have noticed!!

Some day the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing,
But, O, the joy when I awake
Within the palace of the King.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story saved by grace.

Some day my earthly house will fall,
I cannot tell how soon 'twill be,
But this I know, my All in All
Has now a place in heaven for me.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story saved by grace.

Some day, when fades the golden sun,
Beneath the rosy-tinted West,
My blessed Lord will say, "Well done!"
And I shall enter into rest.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story saved by grace.

Some day -- till then I'll watch and wait,
My lamp all trimmed and burning bright,
That when my Saviour opes the gate,
My soul to Him may take its flight.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story saved by grace.

by Fanny Crosby


Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Peace of God Which Passeth All Understanding

by Jennifer Daniel

Philippians 4:7

Not a glimpse of reason
Never knowing why!
Despite my prayers and seeking
Closed the Heavenly sky!

Questioning His dealings
Dark my present path!
Thwarted expectations
Scorners point and laugh!

As Thy child–I’ll conquer
All the foe would do!
Peace–‘not understand’
Has filled my heart anew.

Not as the world expecteth
When all seems lost and wrong
Peace past understanding
Has changed my sob to song!!

"And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)

There is a saying that I like that says, "Go forward on your knees." It is from a book I am reading about Jonathan and Rosalind Goforth who were missionaries to China a long, long time ago. I don't think that there are any of us who have no trials or tribulations of any kind. If you are one who doesn't  have any of these things, let me know!! Whether it is relational, or financial, as long as we are alive we have hiccups in life and the need for prayer is always there. 




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