Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Rainbow

This morning, besides the 11 inches of accumulated snow, we had a beautiful snow rainbow. I don't remember ever seeing such a sight before. Have you? In the middle picture, you can just barely see both ends. The upper arch was not visible at all (maybe earlier in the morning). It lasted for a good hour until the sun was too bright. Leave me a comment if you're familiar with this phenomenon of nature.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

First Snow on Wittstruck Road

We have been having snow off and on since Sunday morning. Yesterday at mid-morning it measured 4 inches. This morning it measured 6 inches and it is still snowing. We're supposed to get the "BIG" storm tonight. We'll see!
If you click on the picture with the bench, you can actually see the snow.
(Again, these pictures are not lining up for me! But, they will position themselves differently when I actually post them.)
As we look down our road, we're wondering if we'll venture out today.
Have a great day, whatever your weather is!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Waiting is an Art

Last summer, as a gift, I received a devotional book titled I Want to Live These Days with You. It is a year's worth of short excerpts from the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German theologian of the twentieth century who was imprisoned and executed for his part in a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

I thought today's writing was excellent, and I want to share it with you:

Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespectful hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them. Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting--that is, of hopefully doing without--will never experience the full blessing of fulfillment.
Those who do not know how it feels to anxiously struggle with the deepest questions of life, of their life, and to patiently look forward with anticipation until the truth is revealed, cannot even dream of the splendor of the moment in which clarity is illuminated for them. And for those who do not want to win the friendship and love of another person--who do not expectantly open up their soul to the soul of the other person, until friendship and love come, until they make their entrance--for such people the deepest blessing of the one life of two intertwined souls will remain forever hidden.
For the greatest, most profound, tenderest things in the world, we must wait. It happens here not in a storm but according to the divine laws of sprouting, growing, and becoming.

Thanksgiving and Getting Ready for Christmas

I have no clue why these pictures ended up all over the page, but you know how it goes with me and pictures and blogs! But, anyway, you can see some of the pictures from Emily's pre-Thanksgiving visit and a couple from when the rest of her family arrived. It was so much fun to have her here for her first official visit all by herself--the first of many, we hope. And, we're already looking forward to Bri's and Paisley's visits on their own. Jacob, of course, has been coming every summer for several years.
The first two pictures show how Emily "earned her keep." She had to feed the cats and make waffles every morning. Some of our fun things to do were getting out my nativity scenes and having a tea party with Jessie's tea set.
After Thanksgiving, all the girls worked together baking cookies. Is that Jeremy in the background doing dishes? And, we put our Christmas tree up and set up John's old train around it. The train was a huge fascination for the girls. It is John's from when he was a little boy in the 50's and it is in incredibly great shape. The track and transformer are modern, but the train is all the original. And, it whistles!
Well, I'm going to post this and see where the pictures end up then.

The White Horse King, the Life of Alfred the Great by Benjamin Merkle

Before reading Benjamin Merkle’s book The White Horse King, the Life of Alfred the Great, the only thing I knew about this ninth century monarch was that he had “Great” in his title. I finished the book published by Thomas Nelson with a great appreciation for this godly man who courageously rid his land of the fierce, marauding Vikings and then installed a system of protection, a plan of literacy, and a foundation of justice in his area of early Great Britain.

Merkle’s well-researched story may be a little long on battle stories for my liking, but he does an excellent job of showing his readers that Alfred isn’t just a battle-worn commander. Alfred becomes a compassionate, God-honoring leader who sets a goal of providing education for the common man in his country so all have access to the early writings of church leaders. Alfred, himself, learned Latin and then translated the first fifty Psalms and Augustine’s Soliloquies for his countrymen. Alfred generously established monasteries, churches, and schools, but wanting to give more of himself to God, he resolved to give one-half of each of his days to study and prayer.

In Merkle’s own words, “Alfred truly was the great king of England, the one monarch who rightly understood the needs of the nation and unrelentingly gave all he had to supply those needs.” He is a model for all who aspire to leadership.

I was fortunate to read this book under the auspices of the Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger program. You can read about more of their books at