Friday, May 29, 2009


We had a wonderful morning at the Tucson Zoo with our ddil, Nikki, this morning. The zoo is beautifully landscaped, and mostly shaded, which was handy with the 90+ temperatures by 9 am.

Here I am, feeding a giraffe some lettuce. They are gentle creatures, with amazing tongues!

It is mating season, and we saw plenty of examples all around the zoo, from the dancing male peacocks to the tortoises! Here are a couple of otters frisking about.

This is an interesting view of an ostrich.

Here I am with my dh, under a beautiful chaste tree. The zoo was covered with gorgeous flowers, and you will seeing more of those photos in coming posts.

And here is our ddil, with her new camera (the giraffe feeding and otter shots are taken by her!)

We are having a great time with Tim and Nik, and look forward to a couple more days to enjoy them and this wild desert environment!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Travelling to Tucson...

My dearest husband (for almost 29 years) and I are heading off to Tucson for the weekend. We will be staying with Tim and Nikki, enjoying their apartment pool in the hot Arizona sun, and enjoying time with them both. Tim and Dave plan to run a night-time 5K race in downtown Tucson on Saturday evening, and we'll attend the festivities downtown following it. What fun!

And maybe by the time we return, the CPU fan needed to fix my own computer will have arrived, and I can resume posting under more normal conditions. Then you can look forward to photos from the trip.

Have a lovely weekend, Gentle Reader. Lord willing, you'll hear from me next week, or sooner if I score computer time at the Tucson Finnegan's dwelling...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A ceiling of clouds

Today is one of those rare rainy days in northern New Mexico, as indeed the last 5 days have been. The cloud level is below 10,000 feet, because they lay below the tops of the Jemez mountains. Driving up to Los Alamos proper today, it was such a strange feeling of being indoors, with the mountains as walls and the clouds like a ceiling you could almost touch. And as I returned down the hill in the rain, I could see across the Rio Grande Valley, to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, where sun was shining and the skies were blue. It was not raining and dark everywhere. And it will not be raining and dark here forever.

Knowing that it will be sunny an average of 310 days a year here gives me hope during the rain, and allows me to enjoy the rain when we have it, knowing the season for sun will be coming soon. You would think, Gentle Reader, that the number of times God has proven Himself to me by sustaining me and answering my prayers, I would have the same kind of sure hope in Him as I do in the returning sunshine, but I often waiver, and act as if there is nothing sure with the Lord. But His blessings are sure things, substantive things. I need to remember my hope is built on nothing less that Jesus's blood and righteousness. And that is more sure, and more precious, than Southwest sunshine.

And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.
~Ezekiel 34:26

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Happy Memorial Day, Gentle Readers!

We are planning a cook-out here with friends, and enjoying the freshness after three whole days of rain: a rarity in the desert Southwest!

In case you need some reflection on what Memorial Day means, you might want to look at what Kevin DeYoung says here, or you might enjoy reading James Kuchiner here.

I am grateful to those who have paid the ultimate price to defend my freedom and this country, today. And i';m celebrating by remembering them, and enjoying my friends and freedom. Hope you have a lovely day as well!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sundays with Jean

Here, indeed, is the chief hinge on which faith turns: that we do not regard the promises of mercy that God offers as true only outside ourselves, but not at all in us; rather we make them ours by inwardly embracing them.

To bear these attacks faith arms and fortifies itself with the Word of the Lord. And when any sort of temptation assails us--suggesting that God is our enemy because he is unfavorable towards us-- faith, on the other hand, replies that while he afflicts us he is also merciful because his chastisement arises out of love rather than wrath. When one is stricken by the thought that God is Avenger of iniquities, faith sets over against this the fact that his pardon is ready for all iniquities whenever the sinner betakes himself to the Lord's mercy.

Accordingly, nothing prevents believers from being afraid and at the same time possessing the surest consolation; according as they turn their eyes now upon their own vanity, and then bring the thought of their minds to bear upon God.

But climbing up to a higher watchtower, let us seek the City of God, let us seek his temple, let us seek his house, let us seek his bride. I have not forgotten..., but with fear and reverence...I say: "We, I say, are, but in the heart of God. We are, but by his dignifying us, not by our own dignity."
~III.2.25, quoting Bernard of Clairvaux

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Coffee cake, anyone?

My friend, Valerie, recently shared a recipe with me for a quick but delicious coffee cake. I made it yesterday to share at Dave's end-of-the-year chemistry class, and it was a hit. I thought yu might enjoy the recipe, too, Gentle Readers. So here it is:

You need:
~20 frozen dinner rolls, partially thawed
~1 stick butter, melted
~1/2 cup brown sugar
~1/2 cup nuts of your choice (or no nuts if you live with a nut hater or allergy)
1 small box (4-serving size) vanilla pudding mix- the kind you have to cook, not the instant variety.

1. On the night before you want to serve the coffee cake, leave out the dinner rolls for about 15 minutes to partially thaw. Cut each roll in half.
2. Spread a little of the melted butter on the sides of a tube pan to coat it.
3. Mix together the brown sugar, dry pudding mix, and nuts. Sprinkle a little of this in the bottom of the pan.
4. Add one layer of the rolls. Sprinkle with a little more mix and drizzle with a little of the butter.
5. Repeat #4 until all the rolls are used evenly in the pan. Put the remainder of the mix and the butter on the top. (More on top is better, since it will ooze to the bottom as you cook it anyway.
6. Let the pan sit on the counter over night. Next morning, bake it at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes. Invert to put the coffee cake onto a platter, and enjoy warm!

I should have taken a picture of the cake, since it come out so pretty!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Free Friday fling

Nathan Clark George is a wonderful musician, and a godly man. He and his homeschooling family travel around ministering to many. There is a free give-away of his newest DVD here. And while you're at it, check out this website and its sister, My Audio School.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How my garden grows I

I thought it might be fun to "watch" my vegetable garden change, so here are the first two photos: above taken about two weeks ago and below taken today. You can see my tomatoes are now out in the world, and my peas, spinach and beans are all up and thriving, and the irises and painted daisies are gorgeous. And I'm going to have to cut back that parsley... It's fun to see the changes day-by-day, but also in little chunks of time like this.

Monday, May 18, 2009

For the things that are seen are transient...

Yesterday at church, Henry (our pastor) preached an excellent sermon from 2 Corinthians 4:7-18, which you already know, Gentle Readers, are some of my favorite verses in all of Scripture:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, "I believed, and so I spoke," we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

It was a reminder that God is great, He is sovereign, and my troubles are light and momentary compared to the weight of glory that awaits me. We all need to hear that from time to time! You can hear the sermon here, under the date 5/17/09, at the top of the page.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sundays with Jean

The human heart has so many crannies where vanity hides, so many holes where falsehood lurks, is so decked out with deceiving hypocrisy, that it often dupes itself.

For, as faith is not content with a doubtful and changeable opinion,, so it is not content with an obscure and confused conception; but requires full and fixed certainty, such as men are wont to have from things experienced and proved.

...[T]here is no right faith except when we dare with tranquil hearts to stand in God's sight. This boldness arises only out of a sure confidence in divine benevolence and salvation. This is so true that the word "faith" is very often used for the word "confidence".

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Mr. Knightly

Yesterday was Dave's day off, so after he finished teaching his high school chemistry class, we decided on the spur of the moment to pull together a picnic and head up into the mountains. We hiked the half-mile to Jemez Falls from the lovely picnic area after eating part of our picnic, then hiked another 1.5 miles on a cross-country ski trail in the Bandelier backcountry. Then we proceeded to head into to town for the remainder of our picnic in the shade of a lovely ponderosa pine tree in a local park. We spread a blanket, finished our meal, and then I rested in the breeze as Dave read to me. At one point, he said, "Don't you feel like we're in some Jane Austen novel, hiking and reading aloud during an al fresco luncheon?" I replied that he was definitely my Mr. Knightly, but after consideration, decided I really was not his Emma. I would have to be his Eleanor, or maybe his Anne, but Emma just wouldn't do...

Maybe the fact that Dave was reading Calvin's Institutes to me wrecks the romantic picture. It would never do for Maryanne Daschwood. But it did just fine for me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Persecuted, but not forsaken...

Last week, my pastor referred to the video below as an example of being afflicted in every way, but not crushed. The verses he was preaching on are some of my favorite:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
~2 Corinthians 4:7-11

Watch this poor baby water buffalo. The fact that he runs away at the end is amazing. And if you are feeling alone and attacked today, take courage. The herd is just over the hill, and our God is working to manifest Christ in us!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The end of an era (for me, at least)

Last week, after discussing it with the other wonderful friends who serve on the Chorus Board, my dear husband, and praying much, it was decided that I will retire from directing the Los Alamos Homeschool Chorus. That decision has been confirmed in a number of ways, but it was still a difficult decision to make. For the last 12 years or so, it has been a wonderful ministry to the homeschooling families in our area, training up voices and hearts, and watching as children grew in the grace and knowledge of Christ. It has been a blessing beyond measure for me to lead the children, choose the words to hide in their hearts, and challenge them to serve Christ and each other. And it has been a special blessing for me to work closely with other women to pull off a ministry of this magnitude.

While God has been gracious to me in my cancer battle, and there is now no sign of the disease, it seems He is pleased for me to remain, for a while longer, in the realm of recovery, without sufficient energy or ability to do all I would wish. And energy and ability are both required to lead a large children's choir. It would not be fair to the students or their parents, or the others working for the chorus, for me to continue my tentative work with the chorus. They deserve to have a leader who can offer all of his or her energy and effort for their good. As I am not able to do that at present, it is best for me to make way for another.

Thank you to the hundreds of students who have been part of the chorus in the last 12 years. Working with you was a joy and an honor for me.

Thank you to the dozens of parents who have provided support and encouragement over the years.

Thank you to the wonderful women of the Chorus Board. You have been more than friends: you have been confidants, promise-keepers, fellow-laborers, and accountability partners. I love each one of you (Karen, Valerie, Brenda, Gretta, Ann, Amy, Kris), and working with you has been a privilege.

Thank you to the homeschooling community, who made our bi-annual concerts gathering times of deep fellowship.

And above all, I thank our gracious Lord, who called me to serve in this way for so many years, who provided for me, and who has now called me to other things.

Perhaps some day I will return to music ministry, but for now, I relinquish it in the faith that God will raise up someone else to do a fine job in the homeschooling community. We have always reminded ourselves on the Chorus Board that this is God's ministry, to continue or stop as He pleased, and we have reminded each other to hold it lightly. And so, attempting to do just that, I look forward to what the Lord will do in the future, both with me and with the homeschool children of our community. There are some moms working on a plan even now, so if you are around Los Alamos, keep your ears open for new opportunities.

I will always hold as precious the times of directing the Los Alamos Homeschool Chorus, and treasure my relationship with each student and family. While I truly grieve as I leave the chorus behind, I do not grieve as one without hope. May God be pleased with each of us as we move on to new ministry in a new season of life, and may His praise be ever on our lips!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Encouraging words...

For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord,[d] that(AI) we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
~1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

There are some days when these words seem more encouraging than others, and today, they sound pretty good to me! I am weary and emotionally a little raw, and the thought of being caught up in the air with the Lord, always to be with him, is indeed an encouragement. To be done with the sin and weariness of this world is something to look forward to!

I have nothing to complain about, but the little niggling irritations of life in a broken world are getting me down today. Part of the reason for this is that I had a doctor's appointment yesterday with my dear primary care physician. We discussed all my normal blood work (hurrah!) and my very normal mammogram (hurrah!) And also my CT-scan (no hurrah). Apparently there is some question whether the adenoma on my adrenal gland has grown or not. The problem is that this scan is being compared to a previous scan done elsewhere, and so they are not exactly sure for some reason. Thus, another CT-scan in 6 months is called for, because if the silly thing is growing, it must come out. Sheesh.

Additionally, my doc also heard a new heart murmur. Although it does not sound "troubling" to him, because this is the first time anyone has heard it, I have a scheduled echo-cardiogram for the end of the month. Now, echo-cardiograms are wonderful pieces of technology: non-invasive, excellent information, very easy to obtain, but I am just getting tired of medical procedures, and want to get on with feeling better. That's so hard to do when you keep a full schedule of medical procedures on your docket at all times. I am grateful for good medical insurance, but even the co-pays on these expensive procedures are starting to add up, and I'd rather be doing other things with both my time and my money. Oh bother.

God appears to be holding me in this pattern for a reason, and I am endeavoring to still my heart under his frowning providence. Even when he is frowning, where else can we go? It is the frown of a father who sees the trouble his child will insist upon, and knows the child will learn good lessons but wishes he could be spared.

So, I turned to the scripture above, to encourage myself with these words. And if you are living under God's frowning providence, Gentle Reader, may you be encouraged with me, as we set our minds not on earthly things, but on the heavenly!

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation...You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
~2 Peter 3:14-15, 17

I am continually blessed by the prayers of the folks who read this blog: thank you! Here are a few specifics. I would be grateful if you would carry them before God's throne:
~Ask the Lord that the adenoma on my adrenals not grow or cause any trouble that will result in surgery. But if it is the Lord's will for that stupid thing to come out, please pray that it would be obvious when I have a CT-scan next fall.
~Please pray that the echo-cardiogram would reveal no troubles in my heart, and that anything found there will be untroublesome or easily dealt with.
~Ask our heavenly Father to keep me faithful to and trusting in Him, encouraging to others, and fleeing from temptation to despair in these light and momentary afflictions.

And I, Gentle Readers, will be praying for you all!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An ad for Ben

Here is my eldest son Ben, and his dear wife, Elsa. He is offering classes and tutorials again online, and I am giving you all the information just in case you would like to take advantage of his services. He knows his subject, is a funny and interesting teacher, and needs some additional funds and teaching experience, so if you are interested, his contact information is at the bottom.

My name is Ben Finnegan. I am a former homeschooler (all through elementary, middle, and high school), and, having finished my Bachelor's and Master's degrees, I am currently working for my PhD in Classical Studies at Indiana University. I'm looking for more teaching experience in an environment that I know and enjoy, so I thought I would offer Greek, Latin, and Classical Culture classes or tutoring to members of the homeschool community.

I would be willing to do a larger cooperative class or smaller tutoring sessions in any of the following subjects. I must say that, given the difficulty of the material and my expectations as a teacher, these classes are generally limited to those of high school age, though if a student is well developed enough and has a good work ethic I would be willing to accept younger children as well.

--Beginning Latin
Using the venerable and exacting Wheelock's Latin Course, this course of study would introduce students to learning foreign language in general by close grammatical study, and would provide the same amount of Latin as one semester of College language study.

--Intermediate Latin
With this offering, I would ask for a diagnostic meeting with any prospective students in order to ascertain at what level their Latin is. This course would work towards greater reading comprehension and analytical grasp of the Latin language.

--Advanced Latin
As with the above, a diagnostic meeting would be required. I would give students an overview of several types of Latin literature (poetry, history, drama, oratory), and then move on to intensive translation and study of particular authors and works, dependent on the interests of the student. Books for this class would likely be more expensive than any of the other offerings, given the high price of original language texts.

--Beginning Classical Greek
The study of Greek is a difficult but rewarding enterprise. This class would be at a much slower pace than any of my Latin classes, as the material is much more demanding. The textbook used would be Chase and Phillips' course for Classical Greek

--Beginning Koine (New Testament) Greek
For those who do not wish to embroil themselves in Ancient Greek literature, but would like to approach the Bible and other Late Classical and Patriarchal authors. Koine is a slimmed-down, simplified form of Greek. The text used would be the beginning text written by the great J. Gresham Machen.

--Greek Literature in Translation
This class avoids the problems of a second language altogether, but still gives a larger cultural and historical grasp of Ancient Greece. With this class, I would read at least one work by all the major authors, and at least one work of each literary genre. The emphasis here would be on religious, political, historical, and cultural ideas viewed through the lens of beginning literary criticism and a good understanding of the Greek world-view. A word of warning, though: much of Greek literature deals with troubling themes of violence and sexuality. While I will avoid the lewd and obscene, these currents are too strong for any class in Greek literature to avoid completely. So please consider this offering only for those spiritually and emotionally mature enough to discuss these subjects from a Biblical world and life view

--Latin Literature in Translation
Like the above class, this will deal with English translations of the great works of Latin literature. Again, the emphasis in this class would be on developing a good understanding of the Roman world-view through literary-critical reading and involving discussions of the Roman religious, political, historical, and literary world. As with Greek literature, much of Latin literature is filled with themes of violence and sexuality. Again, I would avoid the more lascivious of the works, but the history of Rome is filled with too much corruption and deviance for any course to completely avoid the actions of immoral men and women.

These classes would be offered twice a week beginning in September and continuing through early December for the first term, and beginning in February and ending in May. The exact schedule of the classes will depend on interest and enrollment. I can accept a maximum of 18 students per session because of the software that I will be using.

---Summer quick-start and review classes for parents
I am also willing to tutor parents over the summer who wish to review any of the above subjects to equip them to better teach their own children. This can be done individually or as a group, meeting once a week or more frequently depending on the goals of the students.

At this point, I do not want to settle on a price, as that will depend on demand and the number of students. Books for each course should be readily available at an online bookseller, and would average about $40-60 per class, depending on the class. My rates for each class will be negotiable, but as a ball-park idea, in the past I have been paid $15-20 per hour of one-on-one tutoring, $12-18 per hour of class with less than five students, and $8-15 per hour of class with more than five students. However, I am perfectly willing to work with anyone who wants to come to a reasonable price that they find more appropriate for the services rendered.

If you are interested in any of these classes please either e-mail me at: or call 505-690-8936.

References available upon request.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A small-town adventure

Today, I've been reminded of the many joys of living in a small town. The small joys and adventures that a small community can offer are really rather priceless.

Early this morning, I joined some friends to work out at our local Curves, and enjoyed friendship and conversation.

I then proceeded to a friend's house to give her a quick lesson in pruning mature roses. What fun to look at canes with her and discuss what would be good for her roses!

I then headed to the local hospital for my one-year check-up with the surgeon, who gave me the thumbs-up, and released me from his care. Hurrah!

I then drove to what is officially and affectionately called "The Lemon Lot". The lemon lot is where county residents can place used vehicles they would like to sell. The old 1990 Subaru has recently returned to its old hunting grounds: it taught Ben to drive, and Tim after him, took Ben to college, transferred to Tim, then to Nikki, and recently came home from Tucson. And we don't want to keep it in the fleet, so I deposited it on the lemon lot this morning, and Dave has already received a couple of inquiries!

After that, I walked about a mile through town on a beauty sunny day, with the crab apple trees in full bloom, and picked up a delicious cup of chai tea from Starbucks, before finding my way to the bus stop. We have had a bus system for about a year here, and I have never used it before. It's funny how, after 25 years living in a place without mass transit, you can get a little nervous about it... So, today was my day to tackle the bus system. Atomic City Transit is a wonderful city service, free of charge to riders, and can get you all over the county! I caught the bus at the Science Museum, just a block from Starbucks, and rode it all the way to the corner of my street. It was great!

Now, if this all sounds terribly boring to you, stay in your big city. I found it a lovely little adventure.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

This mother's day, I am celebrating having my mother with me two years after her diagnosis with inflammatory breast cancer. And I hope she is celebrating having me around after a year of breast cancer treatment myself. God has been very gracious to spare us to love our parents and children another year.

May you each treasure your mothers and children, Gentle Readers! Our time is indeed short in this world.

Friday, May 08, 2009


Today I pruned and fed my roses. I usually try to do this around April 15, but May 8 will have to do! I guess it is always better to get it done than not to do it at all. At this point, there is so much new growth on the roses that it seems downright cruel to cut away the canes to about 18 inches tall, removing any that are growing the wrong direction, or have signs of disease. But unless we do this in the spring, we will have unhealthy bushes later, and won't get the stunning roses that I love so much. And the amazing thing is that once the pruning is done, the plants grow like wild and become quickly lush and beautiful.

After the pruning I give the roses a tablespoon of epsom salt in a gallon of water, and give them rose fertilizer. After the severity of pruning, deep feeding is necessary.

Everywhere I turn in my gardening adventures, I find metaphors for the spiritual life!

Thursday, May 07, 2009


For many years, ever since dating and early marriage, Dave has called me his "Petunia". This began because when we would play Frisbee, or tickle each other, or play around as newlyweds are wont to do, I would always end up bruised, just like the delicate flower of the petunia can be easily crushed and bruised. So, despite evidence to the contrary, he would call me his Petunia.

Recently I read the blog of a friend who described her struggle with what she calls DFS. She is a breast cancer survivor, who is still battling her recurrent disease, and when she received good news, she attributed her aches and pains as a flair up of her "DFS". DFS stands for Delicate Flower Syndrome. This is much more medical-sounding than being called a petunia. And it describes things so well. Back and feet hurt? "It's a flair of my DFS." Suddenly people are sympathetic rather than skeptical. I told her I'm going to borrow her term.

And how was my day? My DFS was acting up this afternoon, so I slept for an hour...

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Another agricultural metaphor...

In keeping with my recent agricultural theme (and who can avoid such thoughts on a beautiful spring day?) I thought I would show you my garden. Really, it is the promise of a garden...err- that was yesterday's post. There are tomatoes started from seed in my sun room in those "walls of water", to protect them from late Rocky Mountain freezes. There are little pea plants and some little spinach, and some forget-me-nots and marigolds and petunias on the left, budding iris and painted daisies at the right side. But the real wonder of my garden is all the things you can't see.

First of all, you can't see the tons of manure, peat moss, vermiculite and fertilizer that have tried to make the soil something that will feed life. You can't see the hours of tilling, weeding and walling, putting in sprinkler systems, etc. And you can't see the beets, lettuce, green beans and sunflowers that will, Lord willing, emerge shortly from the soil and feed us with their fruit this summer.

Like so many other things, the success of gardening is really in all the things you can't see.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A cherry is a cherry...

The little round buds behind the spent blossoms in this photo are tart pie cherries. Now, they are currently developing, and don't look much like pie cherries, but it would be silly to call them anything else.

That's not to say that potential isn't involved. These are, in many ways, the promise of pie cherries. They are the potential of pie cherries because they are developing fruit on a pie cherry tree that is not yet useful to me. And many things might happen to keep these pie cherries from being made into a delicious cherry pie. We can still get hard freezes here at 6500 feet in elevation, and I will have to fight the birds for every cherry that ripens.

But just because they are not useful to me currently, and not what they might become one day, does not make them anything other than cherries. Wouldn't it be foolish to call them anything else?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Dave in the pulpit

When our pastor is on travel, our ruling elders take turn filling the pulpit. All of our ruling elders are PhD scientists, and none of them feel very well equipped for this daunting task. One of our pastor's suggestion to these scientific-types has been to find a sermon they really like by some other preacher, and then rewrite and rework it for themselves. That way they are imitating someone who has been trained and prepared for the task of filling the pulpit.

Well, Sunday was my dear husband's turn. He was very convicted by a sermon from John Piper on the necessity of scripture memory recently, and used that as his model. He did an excellent job! You can find an audio file of the sermon here, at the bottom of the list, listed as "Your Word Have I Treasured in My Heart", Ruling Elder David Finnegan, May 03, 2009 (Psalm 119:9-17). I am sure it will edify you as it did me, Gentle Reader, if you choose to give it a listen...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sundays with Jean

A few favorite quotes from recent reading of Calvin's institutes of the CHristian Religion:

Here, therefore, let us stand fast: our life shall best conform to God's will and the prescription of the law when it is in every respect most fruitful for our brethren.

...[H]e set before his eyes not what the changing course of the world brings--more unstable than the ocean tides--but what the Lord will do when he will one day sit in judgment to determine the permanent state of heaven and earth.

The Lord held to this orderly plan inm administering the covenant of his mercy: as the day of full revelation approached with the passing of time, the more he increased each day the brightness of its manifestation.

(And for a practical example of this continuing unfolding of God's one plan and character, you might read the excellent post here.)