Friday, February 29, 2008

Students at a major university were asked some 40 or
so years ago whether or not they thought God could really
understand what an atom was.

The general consensus was, "No".


They (the students) could study and comprehend atoms, but
God could not. What a perfect illustration of the utterly
foolish pride of man this is.

The creator could not understand His creation. The sustainer
of all things could not know that which He sustained. How odd.

Psalm 147:4,5
He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name.
Great is our Lord, and mighty in power;
His understanding is infinite.

Or, as the Westminster Catechism says in Question 4.

What is God?
God is a spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable, in his
being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Another offering of interesting sentences. This time,
though, they are strung together.

Theology doesn't just think. Theology walks. Theology weeps. Theology bleeds.

From The Henry Institute on The Great Commission.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Some sentences reach out and grab your attention. They
create fodder to be chewed on. Here are a few I've come
across lately that have given me pause and caused me to
think a bit on them.

From the Viking Lars Walker of Brandywine Books:
You can be wrong because you went the wrong way, or you can
be wrong because you went the right way, but insufficiently.

From A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, which I was
reading aloud to Hattie in bed last night.
...she had been true to her duties. She was truest to them
in the season of trial, as all the quietly loyal and good
will always be.
(I read this twice over to Hattie, but really to myself,
because I wanted it to sink in.)

Up and Down the Gravel:

1. Winter does not want to let loose its death grip. G'ma Opal
is sure she'd feel better if she could get out a little bit.
She is coveting the onion sets in the Mayberry grocery store.

2. I've only heard the peepers twice so far. It takes three
times, according to hillbilly tradition, to be on the brink
of spring.

3. Monday night we had a combined birthday party for Tandy and
Uncle Jim. Fried catfish was on the menu. We filled it out
with spinach salad, asparagus vegetable medley, canned pears
and cottage cheese, and chocolate cake topped with pecans.
Then to finish the night G'ma Opal and Joel took on Mom and
Hattie in a game of High Five. The General lost; I hope she
slept okay afterward.

4. We hosted a volleyball tournament this past weekend. When
the weekends are as full (as they usually are) as this last one
was, it is hard for me to catch up on other things and find time
to update the blog. My apologies. And now I am headed into
another full weekend. I head to The Big City on Friday for a
Ladies Day happening at my in-law's church. It has become a
Harding Women tradition...a mini family reunion of sorts. Of
course, I'll get to see Billy while I'm there, though he says
he'll be studying all weekend. Nothing new about that, is there?

Then I'll stick around through Monday and play second support
member when Mom has chemo session #4. Philippine sister usually
does this, but she is in the Philippines right now, how odd!

5. Joel has his second batch of eggs incubating. He is also
going to pick up some live chicks on Saturday and has invited
Hattie down to meet them. He has been working hard on building
himself a snug little chicken coop. I'll post some pictures of
them when they get here. He is talking ducks now
addition to the geese he is supposed to be getting. He is going
to have some fun now keeping them all out of where they are not
supposed to be. And, my question is, what will Max think of all
this? It should prove to be a very interesting little experiment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Early this morning, around 4:30, I crept outside to load
the wood furnace. As I was opening the door to go into
the furnace room, I paused to listen to the wind in the
trees back in the woods behind our house. The almost full
moon was getting low in the sky. It was lovely.

Later, around 6:00, I went back outside to get the fire
going a little stronger and the moon was huge and yellow
and framed in its setting between a pine tree and an oak.

Yet later I was passing by the front door and when I looked
out I saw this...

I remembered something Kent said a few weeks ago when he sat
down to dinner. He looked at all the abundance of good food
we had and said, "I can't believe we get all this here and
then still have Heaven to look forward to."

Of course, that is a retake of Philip Henry when he sat down
to eat in the 1600's and said, "All this and Heaven too!"

Far longer ago Paul the Apostle had a similar take on things.

Philippians 1:21
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

News From Up and Down the Gravel

Last night I heard an owl hoot from the backwoods. Our
wood furnace had the house temperature at 80 or so degrees
and we had the bedroom window open. I was reading A Tale
of Two Cities by Dickens, and was thrilled to hear my
friend hoot.

Several times over the past week one of my children has
come into the house to report that geese are flying overhead.
That will give anybody a thrill!

The thaw last Friday, after the ice storm, was one of the
most incredible happenings I've ever seen. That morning we
woke to a frozen world, but by the early afternoon it was no
longer so. The ice was thawing and dripping so quickly it
sounded as though we were in a hard rain. When the wind
would blow, a thousand pieces of ice would crash down to
the ground. It reminded me of the thaw in Narnia after Aslan
has returned and the White Witch's power is beginning to

G'ma Opal survived the freeze, but she has had to go to the
Doctor several times for her heart. She is supposed to see
a cardiologist at the Cape in the middle of March. We could
not help but be tickled when she told us that during her stay
in the hospital a week and a half ago her heart was beating
so hard the whole bed was shaking. The 97 year old general
only weighs about 95 pounds. SHE may have been shaking, but
the whole bed? We are all agreed that we highly doubt it.

Joel has to start over with incubating eggs since his died when
we lost electricity. This time he is getting both chicken and
goose eggs. That'll be interesting.

We had company from The Big City over the weekend. My sister
and her girls came. We ate and played cards. And we played
cards and ate. And we built a fire. Of Course. It was just
a little fire, but it WAS a fire. We cooked hot dogs and we
made cherry and apple pies in the pie irons. They are fun to
cook with. We've had ours since we were little girls. You
just butter the inside of the irons and use two pieces of bread
and put whatever you want to inside, then bake it well in the
fire, open, and eat.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Uncle Jim sent me this link to information about the Total
Lunar Eclipse that will happen on Wednesday night,
February 20th. Since that is U. Jim's birthday, and since
he is the weather/sky watcher, he considers it a birthday
gift just for him.

The NASA site includes the following definition of a lunar

An eclipse of the Moon can only take place at Full Moon,
and only if the Moon passes through some portion of Earth's
shadow. The shadow is actually composed of two cone-shaped
parts, one nested inside the other. The outer shadow or
penumbra is a zone where Earth blocks some (but not all)
of the Sun's rays. In contrast, the inner shadow or umbra
is a region where Earth blocks all direct sunlight from
reaching the Moon.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Lately I've been meditating on two truths. These two
things, which are of great importance and comfort to
me are: the sufficiency of Scripture and the justice
of God.

I depend on the sufficiency of Scripture. It teaches
me all I need to know of God and what He desires of me.
I do not need to say, "If only God would speak to me
today." He is speaking to me today. I need only open
my Bible to hear God's voice.

Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

If I depended on the whim of God for forgiveness, I would
be on very shaky ground. Maybe I would hope the person in
the judgment line directly in front of me would be really
a bad guy so that I might look quite good in comparison.
Maybe I would hope God was just in an especially good mood
when he got to me.

Thank God he is a just God. He cannot abide sin. We are
all sinners and we all sin. Sin must be paid for; it must
be dealt with. It has been paid for; it has been dealt with,
through the death of Christ and His taking our sin upon
Himself. Therefore, since God is just, He must accept the
payment made for us.

Certainly this is not a blanket payment for all mankind. But
it is for those who are His, those who have recognized and
admitted their sin and have trusted in the payment made on
their behalf.

God's justice is a bedrock. It is because of His justice that
I can rest in His forgiveness.

Romans 3:26 demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that
He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Not all of Mayberry, but certainly all of Fern Nook
was hit hard by an ice storm this week. Most of us
in Fern Nook lost our electricity for 49 hours. So,
you see, I have a good excuse this time for not posting.

When we in Fern Nook lose electricity we also lose water,
since we are all on wells. When we first lost it I tried
to call Uncle Jim and G'ma Opal. Neither one answered their
phones. The next morning, though, I reached Uncle Jim. I
was wondering how G'ma was doing.

Jim said, "I just wish your Grandma would sit down instead
of hopping around like a bunny rabbit asking all kinds of
questions. I need someone to come and take her for awhile."

G'ma hadn't pulled out any water the night before and so,
when she woke up she put a bucket under the drip of the roof,
since it was still raining ice. She figured the roof had
been washed pretty clean after the all night ice rain we'd

How delicious it was, last night, to come home from church to
lights and toilets we could flush, water we could drink, and
warmth coming from the heater. It actually took a long time
though for the house to warm up. We still have some frozen
pipes, though, in the back part of the house that we need to
address today.

Friday, February 08, 2008

I have rather neglected G'ma Opal of late. It hasn't
been intentional, it has just happened. So tonight,
when I had a choice of going to a basketball game or
staying home, I opted for home. After everyone left,
I headed down the road for a visit.

First I asked G'ma about her stay in the hospital this
week. She gave me all the fun little details. Then we
talked about this and that and she told me something
that I've heard several times, but this time we decided
to write it down so it would be preserved for posterity.

She was remembering the year 1955. It was an interesting
year in the family. It was the year that everyone somehow
fit in agewise by either being half as old as someone else,
or twice as old as someone else. They weren't all at the
same time perhaps, but sometime during the year they had
these ages.

Here's what she remembers. If you have heard this before,
I mean for those of you who are native to Fern Nook or who
have close connections, and if you know of someone we left
off, please let me know.

Grandpa Marion-50

Grandma Cunningham (Shirley's Mom)-38

Grandma Opal-44



Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Up and Down the Gravel

1. First and foremost, last night I heard the peepers for
the first time this year. It was magical.

2. Aunt Jenny called two nights ago and asked if we knew
where Uncle Jim and G'ma Opal were. We didn't. We found
out the next day, after she was back home again, that G'ma
spent the night in the hospital. But, as far as I know,
she is fine now.

3. Joel bought two dozen eggs off of Cousin Mary to incubate.
It looks like we are back in the chicken business again.
I wonder how Max, the German shepherd, will like the chicks?

4. The weather has been wild and wet and wooly. It's just
been wonderful. We've had wind, rain, snow, sun...just
your regular ole Missouri weather. I love it.

5. Last night we fried the last of Tyler's turkey from last
year. It was yummy. We're just making room for this year's hunt.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

There are books with great first lines, and there are
books with great last lines. But hands down the book
that has both the best first and last line has to be
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

Every time I read, "It was the best of times, it was
the worst of times....", I tingle with anticipation.

Every time I read, "It is a far, far better thing that
I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better
rest I go to, than I have ever known.", I am crying.

Dickens is just so very satisfying.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Uncle Jim, the weather man in Fern Nook, sent me
some interesting places to explore.

Archaeoastronomy calculates exactly how many days, hours and
minutes it is from now until each of the Equinoxes,
Solstices and Cross-Quarters.

The Astronomical Information Center has an enormous
amount of information about the heavens. If you put in
your exact location you can calculate the sunrises and
sunsets for the year. This will be very useful for me
when I begin on my book about a year of Fern Nook sunrises
as seen from the front porch.

Genesis 1:14-19
Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the
heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for
signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for
lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the
earth"; and it was so.

Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the
day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the
stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to
give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the
night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw
that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the
fourth day.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I turn to Psalm 131 when world and life events
seem terribly big and overwhelming.

Psalm 131
Lord, my heart is not haughty,
Nor my eyes lofty.
Neither do I concern myself with great matters,
Nor with things too profound for me.

Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
Like a weaned child with his mother;
Like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
From his time forth and forever.