Wednesday Hodgepodge

If you are visiting from the A to Z Challenge please scroll down below Wednesday Hodgepodge. Cheers!
From this Side of the Pond

1. Has spring sprung in your part of the world? How can you tell? Did March come in like a lion where you live? Going out like a lamb or something more ferocious?

March is definitely going out like a lion. I was in Southern California for the beginning of March and it was calm enough except for the escalating worries over COVID-19. Panic shopping and hoarding had begun. In our part of Northeastern Washington Spring comes slowly. We see some green poking up and there are buds forming on some bushes. Our best sign of Spring is our granddaughter who was born on the first day of Spring in 2017.

She’s busy with Spring clean-up!

2. The last thing that caused you to spring to your feet?

Springing to my feet might be a thing of the past but something that made me get up as fast as I could to my feet was our grandson. We have a room at our country bungalow that has been designated as the playroom. It is one of our guest rooms so it has a queen size bed and two nightstands and a dresser and bookshelf besides some toys. I was reading to our granddaughter (sitting properly on the floor as per her instruction) when I saw grandson had walked around the bed to the flimsy lightweight nightstand and the lamp was tottering. I shifted Addy off my lap and got up as fast as I could which is hard from a sitting on the floor position. I got to him in time and moved him away. I then put a sturdy chair in front of the nightstand to block his access to it. Tragedy averted. Next time we are playing in there I will be prepared by moving the chair to block that nightstand forthwith.

For those of you Hodgepodgers who don’t regularly follow my blog, this is our grandson who was born in April of 2019 which is one of the best things that happened during the Hodgepodge hiatus since September of 2018. His older sister just turned 3 and he will turn 1 on April 16th with no huge 1st birthday party because of the virus. He won’t care but it’s tough on the adults in his life.

3. Do you have a spring clean to-do list? What’s one chore on the list you’ve already managed to accomplish? What spring clean chore do you most dread?

I do not have a Spring clean to-do list. We go with the flow.

We managed a good head start on cleaning up our fall brush pile and getting the yard ready for Spring growth. Using my hedge trimmer to clean up leftover dead growth around the former pond and throwing everything on the burn pile was very satisfying.

This winter we had a huge amount of branches and pine cones fall from all of our trees in the front yard. We finished picking up those branches along with some of the cones and they went on the burn pile, too.

I’m not dreading any Spring cleaning chore because I don’t have a big list of things I only do in the Spring. Should I make a list? Maybe I should clean out my closets and drawers??

4. Tell us something you’ve learned about yourself or the wider world as a result of social distancing/the virus crisis.

I’ve learned that concentrating is harder these days. Even though I don’t feel like I’m anxious the uncertainty of where this is all going is unsettling. I’m a person who can get a lot accomplished if I have an incentive like a dinner party, or a trip coming up, or company coming to stay. There’s none of that kind of planning right now so one day just flows into another and my concentration has gone out the window. Hodgpodge helps and blogging helps and having my music on helps, and listening to sermons online helps, too. By the way y’all today is Wednesday just in case you were wondering. Anyone else having to ask, “what day is today?”

5. Something you love that’s the color pink?

My Lenten Rose (Hellebore) that I had to leave behind at our former home in Kenmore. It brought me such joy year after year when it would bloom during the season of Lent. Speaking of leaving things behind, here are my pink rhoddys that I hope are still thriving in Kenmore.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Some good quotes from trusted authors/pastors/Bible that I’ve read this week:

“Faith is not a power which you possess to create your own future. Faith is a God-given ability to trust the future that God has promised you.”~ John MacArthur

“Because of Christ, death is not final. It is a passage from one world to the next.” ~ R.C. Sproul

“Judas heard all Christ’s sermons.” ~ Thomas Goodwin

“Bene orasse est bene studuisse” To have prayed well is to have studied well. ~ Luther

Proverbs 3:25, 26(ESV) ~ Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.

Linking up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for Wednesday Hodgepodge. I’ll add the direct link on Wednesday.

Word Filled Wednesday

I’m home again and far away from the ocean. It was a good time to be in Southern California and to see four out of eight of my siblings and a few nieces and nephews. I’ll share more from Huntington Beach soon. Today is a recovery day at our country bungalow.

Here are a couple of quotes from J.C. Ryle (1816-1900) who I read about in Five Minutes in Church History and Grace Gems.

First on his conversion (1837):

Nothing I can remember to this day appeared to me so clear and distinct as my own sinfulness, Christ’s preciousness, the value of the Bible, the absolute necessity of coming out of the world, the need of being born again, and the enormous folly of the whole doctrine of baptismal regeneration. All these things seemed to flash upon me like a sunbeam, in the winter of 1837, and have stuck in my mind from that time down to this. People may account for such a change as they like, my own belief is that it is what the Bible calls conversion. Or, what the Bible calls regeneration. Before that time, I was dead in sins, and on the high road to hell. From that time, I had become alive, and have had a hope of heaven, and nothing to my mind can account for it but the free sovereign grace of God.

And this quote which is from the 1800’s but rings true to our time:

There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have and think they have enough–a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice; which costs nothing and is worth nothing. The standard of the world, and the standard of the Lord Jesus–are indeed different. They are more than different–they are flatly contradictory one to another. Never be satisfied with the world’s standard of Christianity!

Today is my 13 Year Anniversary with WordPress and with blogging. 

Have a good day everyone!

29th of February

Since this day comes but once every four years I’m adding C.H. Spurgeon’s thoughts on this day from my Chequebook of the Bank of Faith, daily readings by Spurgeon.

February 29

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. Psalm 23:6

A devout poet sings~

Lord, when thou
Puttest in my time a day, as thou dost now,
Unknown in other years, grant, I entreat,
Such grace illume it, that whate’er its phase
It add to holiness, and lengthen praise!

This day comes but once in four years. Oh, that we could win a fourfold blessing upon it! Up till now goodness and mercy, like two guards, have followed us from day to day, bringing up the rear, even as grace leads the van; and as this out-of-the-way day is one of the days of our life, the two guardian angels will be with us today also. Goodness to supply our needs, and mercy to blot out our sins – these twain shall attend our every step this day, and every day till days shall be no more. Wherefore, let us serve the Lord on this peculiar day with special consecration of heart, and sing his praises with more zest and sweetness than ever. Could we not today make an unusual offering to the cause of God, or to the poor? By inventiveness of love let us make this twenty-ninth of February a day to be remembered for ever.

My California family will make this day special as we celebrate our sister Vera with a breakfast out and then a dinner party this evening.

I finally made it to Orange County at 10:15 last night after flight delays that caused flight changes because of heavy fog at Seatac airport in Seattle. Happy to finally land at my destination. Onward and upward! It’s a new day that only comes once every four years.

Happy Birthday dear Vera! Goodness and mercy have followed you in your life and God will continue to take care of you!

Braving Air Travel

The last big birthday party our sister Vera had was for her 16th birthday eight years ago. Vera is a leap year baby so her true birthdays only come along every four years. Her kids threw her a wonderful Sweet Sixteen party back then. Now they are having an 18th birthday party bash on Saturday. I’ll let you do the math to get to her actual age.

I’m hoping to remember to get all the sisters together for a more current photo. We all will be there, Lord willing.

In searching my archives for Vera’s Sweet Sixteen party I found this wonderful photo of Moisi (our pop) with great grandson Jack.

I’m leaving for Southern California on Friday and I bought a packet of disinfectant wipes for the plane. Don’t know if I’ll have time to check in with my bloggy friends during my travels.

Some quotes from readings of late;

“Wonders of grace to God belong” It is not a small gospel message for small sinners that he has sent us to preach, but ours is a great gospel message for great sinners.” ~Spurgeon

“God’s Word is the authority over religious tradition. Consequently, tradition must yield to Scripture, not the other way around.” ~Nathan Busenitz (We Must Obey God Rather Than Men: Scripture, Authority, and the Reformation)

Also, from the same source above:

“Post Tenebras Lux.” “After Darkness Light” The dark grip of religious tradition gave way to penetrating brilliance of biblical authority. (Mark 7:1-3) “We must obey God rather than man.”

More from Spurgeon:

“The Bible exposes our corruptions and lays bare our falseness, pride and unbelief. Do not quibble with God’s faithful Word.”

And the quote of the current week from Spurgeon;

“Leave distracting concerns to those who have no higher calling.”

Enjoy the last days of February!

We Booked It

On Saturday we finally clicked on the purchase button for our flights to and from England come September. That first step is always the hardest for me. Now, Lord willing, we’ll be on that plane heading to London Heathrow in September. We also booked an apartment in the Jericho area of North Oxford for 11 nights. 2 bedrooms, full kitchen and living space.

The last time we were in Oxford was in July of 2014. We were only there for several hours and we talked about how much more there was to see and do in this college town and how we’d love to return. We planned our time in Oxford around an Open Day for the Colleges.

We’ll see what is blooming in September compared to July.

Besides Oxford we are venturing back to Canterbury for 2 nights. The photo above is of Dear and me in Canterbury in 1973 or 1974. We will be staying on the Cathedral grounds this time around. From Heathrow we’ll travel to Canterbury and then after 2 nights travel to Oxford for our 11 night stay there. While in Oxford we will explore some neighboring areas on some day trips by bus or train. We are not renting a car.

Update: A woman’s prerogative to change her mind. In thinking about jetlag we are changing our plans and not traveling to Canterbury on this trip. Just thinking about the tube/train and hours it would take was daunting to my brain. We are choosing someplace on the Oxford side of Heathrow to travel to and enjoy for the first two days, instead.

We are excited and Dear is feeling the pressure to finish the construction of his shop by September. Now I’ll look into booking tours of places like “The Kilns” and also some walking tours. We are planning on signing up for a tour with “Go Cotswolds”, too. Decisions, decisions…

So here are some quotes from C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dorothy Sayers, G.K. Chesterton, all who spent some time in Oxford. There is a Library in Oxford that houses a G.K. Chesterton Collection that we hope to visit.

From Letters to Malcolm, by C.S. Lewis;

“If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart.” And equally, if our heart flatter us, God is greater than our heart. I sometimes pray not for self-knowledge in general but for just so much self-knowledge at the moment as I can bear and use at the moment; the little daily dose.

Have we any reason to suppose that total self-knowledge, if it were given us, would be for our good? Children and fools, we are told, should never look at half-done work; and we are not yet, I trust, even half-done. You and I wouldn’t, at all stages, think it wise to tell a pupil exactly what we thought of his quality. It is much more important that he would know what to do next…

The unfinished picture would so like to jump off the easel and have a look at itself!”

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song over hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”~J.R.R.Tolkien

“He admires, but he won’t clap, which must be very discouraging” Dorothy Sayers in her book, Documents in the Case. This speaks to me on how important spoken or written encouragement is.

“Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul. Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live.” G.K. Chesterton

Enjoy the last week of February!

Sunday Snaphots

Our “Coast Kids” sent this photo on Sunday prompting the rest of us to share our photos.

Dear and I obliged with a selfie taken on our way home from an impromptu lunch out after church with friends.

Dan and Jamie sent this photo of Addy and Jaymison. Cracking up at Jaymison’s new obsession with his tongue as witnessed in this next photo of him we received this week, too.

It was nice to go out to lunch with new friends after church today. When you re-locate later in life and leave long time friends behind it’s a comfort to know you can establish new friendships. There were 7 of us at lunch today.

Our meal at the Chinese restaurant yesterday was decent but not noteworthy. The owners and staff were very pleasant. Thankfully the Thai to Go in town is really good to our palates!

Quote for the week from Spurgeon:

“A house without prayer is a house without a roof.”

Thursday Thoughts

This is the view from our desk where I read, study and blog on most days. I really appreciate the view. One of the books I am reading right now in my morning devotions besides the ever constant Bible is One Foundation (Essays on the Sufficiency of Scripture) compiled by Grace to You. This post is for me so I don’t forget what I’ve read and want to remember.

This is a quote from Spurgeon that Steven J. Lawson shared in his essay on The Standard of Sound Words: A Mandate for the Pulpit:

Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. (2 Tim. 1:13)

Spurgeon maintained,

Theology hath nothing new in it except that which is false. The preaching of Paul must be the preaching of the minister today. There is no advancement here. We may advance in our knowledge of it; but it stands the same, for this good reason, that it is perfect, and perfection cannot be any better. The old truth that Calvin preached, that Chrysostom preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be a liar to my conscience and my God. I can not shape the truth. I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox’s gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again…For wherever there is not the old gospel we shall find “Ichabod” written upon the church walls ere long. The truth of the Covenanters, the old truth of the Puritans, the old truth of the Apostles, is the only truth that will stand the test of time, and never need to be altered to suit a wicked and ungodly generation. Christ Jesus preaches to-day the same as when he preached upon the mount; he hath not changed his doctrines; men may ridicule and laugh, but still they stand the same–semper idem* written upon every one of them. They shall not be removed or altered.

Spurgeon rightly understood the necessity of this theological continuity from one generation to the next. Cultures change. Seasons change. Fashions change. But the truth never changes.

From our house to yours, some views of our Country Bungalow yesterday when the sun was shining and the skies were blue.

And…

…so thankful for these boots that I bought at Goodwill before we moved to Colville. They were a bit pricey for Goodwill at $14.99 but I knew they were quality boots. Keen Dry boots which sell new at $100 or more. They are perfect for snow and temps below freezing. Great for snowshoeing, too.

We had a couple more inches of snow overnight.

Today is our son Dan’s birthday. We are happy and thankful to live in the same zipcode as him and his family. Happy Birthday to you dear son of ours!

We’ll be celebrating both Jamie and Dan’s birthdays tomorrow evening with a dinner here at our country bungalow.

Happy Thursday everyone!

*semper idem: always the same