Thursday, October 28, 2004

Where we were for two weekends in October...

by Dakota Tremayne

"The first time my family and I attended worship at St. Peter, we were overwhelmed with the depth of reverence of the congregation. So much happened within that short period of time that I could not grasp it all; yet I could not get enough. Confession, absolution, congregational prayers, singing... Laurence even preached from the Bible without using polls, pop psychology, or stupid jokes (you know, the court jester never could lead true worship). After my soul was tossed, turned, purged, filled, then moved, I knelt at the Lord's Table to eat and drink of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus. Space is far too limited for me to describe my awe. At several moments my wife wept. What happened in there? she asked me as we left. That was worship, my dear. Worship."

Keep reading...

[JBH: I met Dakota (and his wife) during our visit to St. Peter (we went "to Bristol, VA," but it had nothing to do with Bristol—we went to be a part of this church for a week). Upon returning home, I found this article by him, which comes close to describing our experience as a part of this body. Dakota's a great guy, a faithful brother and a fast friend. If you visit, tell him I said, "Hi."]

[Thoughts] From the... uh, mouths... of babes...

We've always taught our children that obedience is only obedience if it's "done the first time, every time with a happy heart."

Having recently read the article, "The Beauty of a Child Who Sits Still" in Family Reformation, my wife and I have been trying to put into practice some of the principles and lessons recommended in the article.

After a recent "training session," my wife was coaching our 4-yo son, who was standing in his doorway, on waiting in his room—sitting still and quiet—at the end of rest period until she came to get him. Well, he went back in... but with great wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Going in, my bride calmly asked him, "What's man's primary purpose?"

"To gworify God and enjoy him fohever."

"That's right. And how to you glorify God?"

"By Oh! BAYing."

Then Mom prompted, "...with a ____ ?"

To which the little cherub replied, "...a happy fart!"

...and he complied!

Posted by Jim Bob Howard to Thoughts at 10/27/2004 05:00:31 PM

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

[Reading] Article: Celebrations for Beginners

Celebrations for Beginners by Laurence Windham
"Practicum" from
Every Thought Captive, Vol. 4, Issue 6

I read this on Saturday as we were preparing to have our first Sabbath feast the next evening with our good friends from Liberty Hill. God was so gracious to us as we prepared for this time of feasting and celebration of the His goodness of bringing this precious family of seven (going on eight) into our lives a year and a half ago.

We had learned of feasting during our visit to Saint Peter Presbyterian Church. One of the families (well, actually four, but I'm focusing on this one event) invited us over for dinner during our stay. Our six (mother-in-law included) joined their five and another mom and her two blessings (dad was travelling on business) for a delightful evening of feasting, fellowshipping, bible reading, hymn singing, desserting (did I just make that up?) and spiritual warfare!

Charles, our host, told us of the significance of feasting here on earth, where we are but aliens. Our citizenship is in heaven, where we will be the honored Bride at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb. And while what and how we celebrate here is only a shadow of what is to come, we engage the battle against the enemy of our souls when we act "on earth as it is in heaven."

We hemmed in our feasting by giving thanks before and after the meal. Reading "Evening Praise" from Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotionals, Charles lead us in thanking God for the meal we had just completed. Then every man, woman and child raised his glass of wine (red, to symbolize the blood of the One Whose feast we're preparing for) and toasted our Host, our hosts and one another.

As we were planning our feast, I called Charles and asked him the name of the book (as I'd forgotten at that point) and he stated that there was also a "Lord's Day Evening" prayer that I might be interested in reciting for our meal which was to take place on the Sabbath. This one I was not able to find online...

But, God provided it.

As we were leaving Lord's Day worship Sunday morning, my wife noticed that on the cover of our congregation's announcements bulletin, was the "Lord's Day Evening" prayer from Valley of Vision. Thanks, God!

Having read Laurence's article and seeing that he mentioned an article his wife had read in a "recent" Credenda/Agenda, I sought to find that article. Not only did I find "The Sabbath Wedding" by Douglas Jones, but I printed it and read it several times before our feast and plan to put many of its suggestions into practice in our home.

Inspired by both articles, we set about to make this a memorable feast! Our home was not set up for feasting. The "dining room," in conjunction with the front "living room" is being used as a library/homeschool/play room; we "dine" at the kitchen table. For our feast, we moved our sitting area (two lounge chairs, table and lamp) into the kitchen; and the kitchen table (3'x5' rectangle with two windsors and two benches) into the library. We put one leaf into our "homeschooling table" and placed the oval and rectangle tables end-to-end, covering them with tablecloths. We set out candles, a center-piece of pumpkins, gourds and silk autumn leaves, and used our wedding china and crystal (all five place settings; the children had plastic plates [note to self: finish out china and crystal patterns]). I also picked up a "Bagpipe Classics" CD at Wal-Mart, which played low on repeat all evening.

Also in that issue of Credenda/Agenda were several quotations regarding the Sabbath. The poem by George Herbert, which was last on the page, grabbed me and we openned our evening as I read it to those gathered in the house. Only then was everyone invited to the table.

What a blessed time we enjoyed with one another and our Lord! We can't wait for the next feast we may be privileged to host! In fact, we're leaving the furniture the way it is...

Posted by Jim Bob Howard to Reading at 10/26/2004 09:54:02 AM

Monday, October 25, 2004

[Scrapbook] Fall Foliage

Stopping by the roadside near Mt. Rogers, on the way to Damascus

Boys rolling down a hillside through autumn leaves

Beautiful rolling hills of a homestead in Bristol, VA

Morning clouds sequestered on Boone Lake, TN

Posted by Jim Bob Howard to Scrapbook at 10/25/2004 02:08:51 PM

[Thoughts] Great question!

My family recently had the pleasure of spending eight days with the portion of the body of Christ known as St. Peter Presbyterian Church in "Far Southwest" Virginia (that's the proper description, according to Joshua Blackburn). After the Tuesday night bible study, my 7-yo son had been playing with Dr. Sproul's 8-yo son, when I informed him it was time to leave.

My boy went up to Dr. Sproul and asked, "Can I play with your son again?"

"I don't know," came the reply. "Will you spur him on to righteousness?"

"Well, he'd probably spur me on to righteousness. He's older than I am."

I've never asked that question of one of my children's friends. ...but, I will now.

Posted by Jim Bob Howard to Thoughts at 10/25/2004 01:20:47 PM

[Beards] I'm growing a beard...

...and my family likes it, as per this exchange 10 minutes ago with my 7yo son:

My son just brought some things upstairs that Mom had asked him to. As he left, I said, "Thanks. You're a good boy."

To which, he replied, "That deserves a hug," as he returned to my chair for the hug. As he leaned around my chair, I kissed his neck.

"I like your beard," he said, starting down the stairs. "It scratches more."

"Yeah?" I inquired. "Did you have an itch on your neck that needed to be scratched?"

"Yeah!" he said, as he reached the bottom of the stairs.

Posted by Jim Bob Howard to Beards at 10/25/2004 10:05:11 AM