Pinterest Project -

This is an easy one! I sorted through (& untangled) all my embroidery floss, then wound it around clothespins! (I also tried to add a "pin it" button to my blog, but for some reason, it only shows up, if you actually click the title of the post.) 


Music - Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter is great. This is an early version of the song - it's now gotten a little more up-beat.


Giving Thanks

 Robert Weir 
Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.
O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and bless├Ęd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!
All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.

What beautiful, beautiful words. The song above, "Now Thank We All Our God", was originally written by pastor Martin Rinkart. -You should read about him, & his story of incredible faith & perseverance, during a time of extreme hardship & heartbreak, in the year 1636. After & during the Thirty Year's War had ended. During which time, Martin was living in a world dominated by death, as he conducted funeral services for up to 50 people a day… 

Norman Rockwell
My Thanksgiving was good. The fam & I were invited over to two dear friends' houses for two huge meals. Lunch & dinner. Whewh! That's a lot of pie. :) We all have so much to be grateful for. Friends, family, food, clothing, a roof over our heads, technology & so many comforts that others don't have. The majority of Americans only set apart one day a year to be grateful, by eating lots of food, & maybe mentioning a brief something, vaguely about the pilgrims. But the reality of it is; is that sadly many people have lost the true meaning of what thanksgiving represents. 
We should be thankful & look to the Lord with praise & thanks for all things, each & every day. All things come from Him.  - the good & the bad. The Lord remains steadfast to us, our rock & anchor, through all things. He will never abandon nor forsake us, just as He preserved 50 of his pilgrims, that first hard winter on the shores of New England. 

Our friends had a copy of William Bradford's book: Of Plymouth Plantation. For Thanksgiving we read the 4th chapter - it was really good; hearing an accurate historical account of the arrival to America from a Christian perspective, was both sobering & insightful. Christianity is what our country was founded on. Christianity is why the pilgrims left England, sailed for over two months across an ocean, leaving family & loved ones behind in England. All for the love of Christ, they did what they did. Those brave men & woman stood up for their faith, promoting the Gospel & were unwilling to compromise to anything that rose up against them. Think of England & it's tyrannical government & church, in the  1600s. (Our government is so much worse now, then it was then, & the true Christians of that era didn't tolerate it.) 1608 was when the pilgrims first left for Holland- the start of their perilous journey for freedom that would last for another 12 years by the time they made it to the Americas. Many did not survive the first cold winter on American soil. Can you imagine doing something like that? Men & women, boys & girls of true grit, sacrificing nearly everything for the freedom of worshiping the true God. I would recommend the book, (though I've only heard the 4th chapter). Also online, there is some great history, if you get to reading & searching. A documentary called Monumental: The Search For America's National Treasure is an excellent film that tells the true story of America's founding people, the decline of patriotism, & Christianity. It is well made & engaging.
So look to Jesus, our Savior & King, & let us fearlessly press onwards with strength & courage through the days & years to come. Happy Thanksgiving! 
Jean-Leon Gerome 


C.S. Lewis on Art Appreciation

"A work of (whatever) art can either be “received” or “used.” When we “receive” it we exert our senses and imagination and various other powers according to a pattern invented by the artist. When we “use” it we treat it as assistance for our own activities. The one, to use an old-fashioned image, is like being taken for a bicycle ride by a man who may know the roads we have never yet explored. The other is like adding one of those little motor attachments to our own bicycle and then going for one of our familiar rides. These rides may in themselves be good, bad, or indifferent. The “uses” which the many make of the arts may or may not be intrinsically vulgar, depraved, or morbid. That’s as may be. “Using” is inferior to “reception” because art, if used rather than received, merely facilitates, brightens, relieves, or palliates our life, and does not add to it….
...We sit down before the picture in order to have something done to us, not that we may do things with it. The first demand any work of art makes upon us is surrender. Look. Listen. Receive. Get yourself out of the way (there is no good asking first whether the work before you deserves such a surrender,  for until you have surrendered you cannot possible find out."
-C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis’s An Experiment in Criticism is brilliant. I'm reading it right now (along with a couple other books). I'm thoroughly enjoying it; it's almost like a big essay, where Lewis discusses how to interpret (& appreciate) all forms of art; including music, but it's chiefly focusing on literature.  Lewis explores just about everything, from multiple biased views. It's really been interesting.  

Mr. Lewis, has such a beautiful way of wording things, & of putting things into perspective. Lewis is ever proactive, tactful, biased, open-minded, old fashioned, far-seeing, very annoying & very wise, all at the same time. :)
What are you reading? 
How do you decide what you read?
Why do you like to read? And why?

Books are important. They are part of our heritage. When properly taken care of, they can be passed on from generation to generation. Books greatly impact how we think, & judge things. Our brains are like sponges.  Books & media can shape our lives. We need to be wary of what we are soaking our brains in. Hopefully not in a stagnate pool, filled with algae & muck, but in the cold clear flowing water of eternal life! (The Bible.) I enjoy reading for pleasure mostly. I love fantasy & historical fiction. (Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, I think. It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, quoting Dr. Seuss to some extent.) But I also love good ligature. Dearly love it. The rich way things used to be written, the word-maven expressions, & how people communicated in general, is so much more elegant (& appealing), then today's generation of writers, (or texters). In a way, it's kinda ironic, because I'm terrible with words.  Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, C.S.LewisElizabeth GaskellJ.R.R. Tolken, E.D.E.N. Southworth, Emily Bronte, etc. Are some of my favorite writers. 
"Remember He is the artist and you are only the picture. You can't see it. So quietly submit to be painted---i.e., keep fulfilling all the obvious duties of your station (you really know quite well enough what they are!), asking forgiveness for each failure and then leaving it alone. You are in the right way. Walk---don't keep on looking at it." ~The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Vol. 3: Narnia, Cambridge and Joy 1950-1963
As an artist myself, I especially enjoy this quote. (Because I can relate to the painting part.) Sometimes, I can get stuck on a picture, painting on it for hours & getting nowhere. Eventually I might despair, & set it on the shelf for a couple months or so, until I feel re-inspired to finish the thing. But God never despairs, or puts things on the shelf. He works all things for His glory 24/7. We need to press onwards. "Further up, & further in!" ~The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis.

-Justin Sweet-
I also think this quote is also beautiful, because Lewis talks about submitting to God. Resting in the assurance of His plan; a grand mural, that paints a picture, so glorious, that we can't even imagine what it looks like! It's a picture of life. For freedom, Christ has set us free! He paid the ultimate price for us, so that we might live. We need to stand firmly rooted deep in His Word, repent daily of our sins & walk by faith in Jesus Christ, while taking every thought captive. We need to pursue all our work with gusto, at whatever point in life we may be at, & whatever the work may be. House work, office work, volunteer work, etc. Everything we do, should be done in His holy name!
"There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ... does not cry: 'Mine!'" ~Abraham Kuyper 1837-1920
With art being the topic, think about todays society, & how the general public perceives art. This nation was established on Christian principles, as our Founding Fathers were inspired in their creation of a culture where Faith would flourish. But it didn't last long, our nation today is gradually slipping further & further away from its origins, & heading down a course that will not only leave burdens on the backs of our children, but oppose the flourishing of that faith as well. The world tends to reject things of beauty. Go to your local art museum, or take a walk downtown (if you live in a city), most of the "art" looks twisted, abstract or just plain unexplainable. Those who prevail in the arena of “ideas” will ultimately control any culture.  Hollywood, CNN, the modern liberal arts, the green movement, our increasingly communistic government. Wow. Keep thinking about it. It's big, & getting bigger. We gotta wake up!

A good painting, shouldn't be something when hung on the wall, the viewer only sees for the first few days. (Like when you rearrange the furniture in your room. It's new for a day, then it's the normal.) It shouldn't just disappear, & blend in with the rest of the room. A good painting should always draw the viewer in, with renewed interest & appreciation for it. We shouldn't hang just anything on our walls, to fill the void space. We should place something meaningful & beautiful there.

Justin Sweet  Running to Aslan, the Great Lion. 
“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it." ~Mere Christianity 
Be creative, fresh & original. "Pursue things of beauty: whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ( Phil. 4:8) Be yourself, today you are you! That is truer then true! There is no one alive who is you-er then you! (Dr. Seuss again.) 
No matter what we do, or where we go, isn't it always awesome to look back &  say- I was out there, I was alive, I did that. God made all of us exactly like we are, with talents, & weaknesses. Embrace your gifts, create a memory, do something special. Enjoy life. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a painting is worth a lot more. Generations will reap what we sew; we can pass on a curse or a blessing to those we will never know. (Deut. 11:26-28Let's leave a history that generations to come will be proud of!


I voted!

America is waiting in suspense. The election count is rolling!

We all need to remember, that whatever the outcome from the election is; is that it won't fix our country. No Republican or Democrat, or whoever is in control of the House or Senate; can fix anything. The only person that can, is our LORD & Savior Jesus Christ, through the men of His choosing. Our country has lived in gross defiance of God, murdering innocent children, openly practicing sodomy, & blatantly saying that God does not exist. He does exist, & He is watching our every move! We need to run back to Christ, & fling ourselves at His feet & pray for mercy; that America would be judged to repentance & not to destruction. All of the economic disfunction & the erosion of national pride & identity in America, is a direct result of living in defiance of God. Right now the polls aren't looking too good. Obama is winning. (The scumbag!) Since we don't have tv, I've been near the computer all evening… waiting, watching, trusting. I do not want Obama to win. But I could not in good conscious vote for Romney. (In my opinion, they are basically the same thing, but I would prefer a Republican to win anytime, over a Democrat.) For many Americans, sadly it was the choice of choosing between two evils: the hypocrite or the heretic. Then for many other Americans, it was simply the matter of choosing between the Elephant & the Donkey. Heehaww.

A donkey dressed in a lion's skin, scaring all the other animals away. Drawing by Thomas Nast
"It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God & the Bible."
 ~George Washington  (I like this quote. It is so true!)

When Obama got elected in 2008, I was only 16 years old. So, this was my first presidential vote. First of all, I am not a very politically inclined person, but I enjoy following along in my own little way. I voted Ron Paul for president, because I know that there isn't that much difference between most GOP candidates & Democratic candidates, especially in this election. I'm a Christian & 100% pro-life. I strongly believe in upholding & the pursuing the Constitution. I believe that following the Constitution; something rooted in Judeo-Christian ethics, is the only way to get America out of the woods & back on the right path. We can't take what we've had for the past 4 years much longer. Ron Paul is good, consistent & he's an honorable man. And he took on the Federal Reserve, MSM, Military Industrial Complex, Federal Government, pro-American foreign policy & the GOP! So I voted for him, even though I know he doesn't have a chance, in fact, there never was one. But he was the only person that I could vote for. Here's to the next 4 years, no matter the outcome of the election: May God have mercy on us all. 

And here is a short youtube vid, please take the time to watch it. 

Soli Deo gloria-

"There comes a time when nations fall. When nations flee from the God they loved. Once trusted and feared, once served and sought. There comes a time when men become weak. They falter they fail, they stumble, they fall. The time is now, the nation is us. Yet the path to freedom and life, lies open before us, unchanging forever. Let us rise from the ashes, and return to the guide by which we must live... Our King reigns over all His creation. His words never change. His commands are ever pure. Let us seek His face and fear His name… For now is the time to return." ~From the vid above^


Original Poem

Feelings Unforgotten—  

Silently he sits, and waits with tired eyes,

    With cross'ed arms, he rises and sighs— 
His love is gone, and so is the night;
    Lonesome in want, lost in morns' pale light.

Eternally asleep, love unknown,
    His feelings for her, he wished' shown— 
Eyes darkened evermore, blind to all wrong;
    Forgotten moments, he sees' in memory strong.

Silent and cold, the day begun;
    Feelings unchangeable, ne'er to be undone— 
Sorrows unrest him, tho' few know;  
    Lone in splendor, she was whiter then snow.

Elixir of life, for her he wanted,
    Heart stopped abruptly, paths forever parted—
Summer now gone, winter draws-nigh; 
    Reflections distant, he whispers goodbye.

She sleeps softly, whist' he weeps,

    Underneath' silver trees, her love he seeks— 
Rest awhile, blessings be upon her;
    His heart steadfast, love ne'er demur.

Her dreams forgotten, by all 'save him, 
   His hopes now shattered, everything dim— 
Seasons go by, yet he stands lone; 
    Snow covers earth, heart's voice bemoan.

Okay, so this is a poem  I wrote. I know it's sappy, but oh well. I wrote it a while ago, after watching a movie on John Keats. It was a sad movie. Writing poetry doesn't come super naturally to me, I have to take time & think about getting the rhymes & wording things just so. But I enjoy it greatly. -GB


Virginia Creeper Trail

Virginia Creeper Trail - a great bike ride I did 28 miles of mostly downhill through the forest! 

Mmm. So beautiful!