Phlowers – Blooming in the Garden/April 9, 2021

I planted a new Forsythia in the side garden. It seems to be doing well, and the bright yellow blooms have been a mood booster for sure. The Forsythia is part of this week’s Friday Skywatch.

Daffodils are still opening and blooming in several different colors and sizes.

Starflowers are opening up in the side garden.

Glory of the Snow, one of my Springtime favorites, reflects the gorgeous blue of the sky. This dainty flower is my choice for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Periwinkles are my ‘never-give-up’ flower. They are surrounded on all sides, overtaken by English Ivy, yet they wiggle their way through the tangled stems and bloom every Spring.

“Flowers are the music of the ground. From earth’s lips spoken without sound.” ~Edwin Curran (American Poet)

Place – Cape May Bunker

The old World War II Bunker is still standing on the beach at Cape May Point State Park. The history of the bunker can be found on the Atlas Obscura site. This is an interesting site to explore. It’s always fun to find new and unknown history to visit in person or virtually.

This rusty old relic is my choice for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge of Rusty or Decayed.

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology/Part 14 – Peace with God

We are living in a time when peace seems near impossible. It’s not necessarily warfare I am speaking of, although that could spring up at any moment, but more so the constant pecking away of politicians, false media reports, and manufactured crises for stealing away freedom, human rights, and prosperity.

For those who have given their hearts and lives to Christ Jesus, it is a blessing to have the assurance that no matter what happens here on earth, Jesus has made peace for us with God. From every fiber of my being I thank him for giving his life for me, for taking my sins upon himself, for opening the way to eternal life and everlasting fellowship with him in Glory.

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. ~ Revelation 21:23

C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology

“O how sweet to view the flowing
Of the Saviour’s precious blood!
With divine assurance, knowing
He has made my peace with God.”

This well-grounded assurance will throw you into ecstasy, and it will not be long before the deep of your heart will well up with fresh springs of adoring love. Then shall you also praise the Lord with some such words as these: “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

Philm – Risen

I watched the movie ‘Risen’ once again this week. It never fails to move me. The love of Y’shua (Jesus), for men of all races and religions, overtakes every stress and worry I have as I watch. I had to pause the movie numerous times to pray for my family, to praise the King of kings and Lord of lords, and wipe away the tears of love and joy I have for him, and through him.

The movie is violent in places and might not be suitable for younger children. It portrays in detail the brutality of occupied Jerusalem, the horror of the crucifixion, the self-promoting ambition of Pilate, the hypocrisy of the Sanhedrin, and the poverty and oppression that most of the Jewish people lived in.

Spoiler Alert: The last words in the movie, spoken by the Roman Tribune, Clavius, are what most who turn to Jesus Christ feel within their innermost spirit…

“I believe I can never be the same.”

Peculiarities – Seventeen Year Cicadas

Seventeen Year Cicada

The seventeen year cicadas are on their way back. They certainly are a novelty, if not a peculiarity. Strange thing though, although they are forecasted to emerge in my Mid-Atlantic area, they made a showing in 2013. I documented it here on my blog: Seventeen Year Cicadas.

I don’t recall seeing many in my town in 2013, just the ordinary thrumming bug that shows up each year. I decided the prediction of an emergence was a mistake. The prediction wasn’t in error, I was wrong; on a camping trip we found the area swarmed with the orange-dark green insects. The video was taken in Belleplain State Forest, which proves the point in the following link that cicadas are mainly found in wooded areas. “The Cicadas are Coming.”

The cicadas can damage new branch growth. They feed by sucking sap from tender twigs, while the nymphs in the ground feed by sucking juices from plant roots.

As I was trying to figure out how seventeen years have passed since 2013, I came upon an article that explained the phenomenon – Magical Early Cicadas. It seems there are different ‘broods’ of cicadas, hatching at different times. The article also explained that seventeen year cicadas that emerge ahead of schedule are called stragglers. I’ll be watching for them, and hopefully, as in the last brood that hatched, they will not visit my gardens, but stay in the forest where they belong.

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology/Part 13 – Sing Hosanna/No Doubts

I’ve grown pansies for many years. One of my favorite characteristics of these gorgeous blooms is their ability to withstand frost. I have no doubt when I put them outdoors in mid-March that they will be able to withstand the freezing temperatures.

These pansies, regal in their purples, and brilliant with their sunlight faces, almost seem alive. I can just about imagine them singing ‘Hosanna,’ on this Palm Sunday. After all, if the trees can clap their hands, perhaps the pansies truly can sing!

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. ~Isaiah 55:12

I love the quote about doubt in this portion of C.H. Spurgeon’s message on ‘John’s Doxology.’ Doubt has no outbursts; its chill breath freezes all things. It’s hard to praise the Lord when you are filled with doubts. Today is a day of remembrance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Let’s sing ‘Hosanna,’ in praise of Him.

Next, the apostle John, in whom we note this outburst of devotion, was a man firmly assured of his possession of the blessings for which he praised the Lord. Doubt has no outbursts; its chill breath freezes all things. Oh for more assurance! Nowadays we hear Christian people talk in this way:— “Unto him that we hope has loved us, and that we humbly trust has washed us, and that we sometimes believe has made us kings, unto him be glory.” Alas! the doxology is so feeble that it seems to imply as little glory as you like. The fact is, if you do not know that you have a blessing, you do not know whether you ought to be grateful for it or not; but when a man knows he has covenant mercies, that divine assurance which the Holy Ghost gives to Christians works in him a sacred enthusiasm of devotion to Jesus. He knows what he enjoys, and he blesses him from whom the enjoyment comes. I would have you, beloved, know beyond all doubt that Jesus is yours, so that you can say without hesitation, “He loved me and gave himself for me.” You will never say, “Thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee,” unless you are first established upon the point that Jesus loves you; for “we love him because he first loved us.” John was certain that he was loved, and he was furthermore most clear that he was washed, and therefore he poured forth his soul in praise. Oh to know that you are washed from your sins in the blood of Jesus! Some professors seem half afraid to say that they are cleansed; but oh, my hearer, if you are a believer in Jesus, the case is clear, for “there is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus”! “He that believeth in him hath everlasting life.” “He that believeth in him is justified from all things from which he could not be justified by the law of Moses.” “Ye are clean,” saith Christ. “He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit;” and “Ye are clean.”

Phlowers – Blooming in the Garden 3/26/21

We lost a shrub over the winter and replaced it this week with a beautiful Pieris japonica. The brilliant magenta florets and evergreen leaves make it a perfect choice for our front garden.

There are daffodils blooming in most of the garden beds.

These Johnny-Jump-Ups, bought in Autumn, over-wintered in my garage. A few weeks ago, I moved the baskets to my back porch, and now they are hanging outdoors in full bloom. There were days they looked pretty bad, but they continually amaze me and perk back up. They are my Flower of the Day in Cee’s FOTD challenge.

Hyacinths are blooming again. Daffodils and hyacinths are my most reliable Spring bulbs. I cut one of the blossoms and put the florets in grain alcohol, 190 proof. I created a floral scent with vodka this year, and hope the grain alcohol, with a higher alcohol content will extract the scent even quicker. It will take weeks of renewing the scented flowers before I will be able to sense a fragrance. The original post can be found here: Plants & Preserving the Good.

The grain alcohol is very strong. Within minutes it completely faded the bright pink flowers into near white. I hope it absorbs the scent just as quickly. I’ll update the progress later in the Spring.

 

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology/Part 12 – Joy Unspeakable

Love, trust and hope, they truly do bring JOY UNSPEAKABLE to those who put their faith in Christ Jesus. The old hymn is true, the half has never yet been told. I’m looking forward to unspeakable JOY when I reach my home in Glory.

A snippet from the song JOY UNSPEAKABLE:
“It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Full of glory, full of glory;
It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
Oh, the half has never yet been told.”
~Barney E. Warren 1900

C.H. Spurgeon – John’s Doxology

“This also gives foothold to faith. If you know the Lord Jesus you feel that you can trust him. “They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.” Those to whom Christ has become a well-known friend do not find it difficult to trust him in the time of their distress. An unknown Christ is untrusted; but when the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus he also breeds faith. By the same means, your hope also becomes vivid, for you say, “Oh, yes; I know Jesus, and I am sure that he will keep his word. He has said, ‘I will come again and receive you unto my self and I am sure that he will come, for it is not like him to deceive his own chosen.” Hope’s eyes are brightened as she thinks of Jesus and realizes him as loving to the end; in him believing, she rejoices with joy unspeakable and full of glory. To love, to trust, to hope, are all easy in the presence of a real living Christ; but if, like the disciples at midnight on the Galilean lake, we think him to be a mere spectre or apparition, we shall be afraid, and cry out for fear. Nothing will suffice a real Christian but a real Christ.”

Phlowers – Blooming This Week/FOTD

Bittercress is a wild edible. Cardamine hirsuta, the genus name, is a member of the cress family.

The small weedy plant grows everywhere in my yard. When I weed in early spring, I always wear goggles or a pair of glasses if wild cress is growing in my garden beds. It has a peculiar habit of exploding seedpods when touched, and I’ve had them hit me full in the face while weeding. I don’t want one to scratch my cornea so I am always careful to wear eye protection when they are in their seed stage.

The flower of garden cress is smaller than a dime. Garden cress is a perfect micro-green. Maybe this year I’ll save some of those exploding pods and grow it in the house over winter for salads.

Dependable yellow crocuses are blooming in the gardens this week. Every year they are my first bulb plant to burst out of their buds. They are this week’s entry into Cee’s Flower of the Day Challenge.

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology/Part 11 – Anchored

I wholeheartedly agree with what Spurgeon tells us in the this paragraph of John’s Doxology:  “If you cannot reach the Lord in your mind, you will not embrace him in your heart.” I believe this so fully that when I pray for others I often ask a blessing upon them, HEART, MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT. I also say the same when I am praying for their protection in this time of turmoil and increasing wickedness.

C.H. Spurgeon’s John’s Doxology

To have a real, personal Christ is to get good anchor-hold for love, and faith, and hope. Somehow men cannot love that which is not tangible. That which they cannot apprehend they do not love. When I was about to commence the Orphanage at Stockwell, a gentleman who had had very large experience in an excellent orphanage, said to me, “Begin by never expecting to receive the slightest gratitude from the parents of the children, and you will not be disappointed;” for, said he, “I have been connected with a certain orphanage,” which he mentioned, “for a great many years, and except in the rarest case I have never seen any tokens of gratitude in any of the mothers whose children have been received.” Now, my experience is very different. I have had a great many grips of the hand which meant warm thanks, and I have seen the tears start from the mother’s eye full often, and many a grateful letter have I received because of help given to the orphan children. How do I explain the difference? Not that our Orphanage has done more than the other; but the other Orphanage is conducted by a Committee with no well-known head, and hence it is somewhat of an abstraction; the poor women do not know who is to be thanked, and consequently thank nobody. In our own case the poor people say to themselves, “Here is Mr. Spurgeon, and he took our children into the Orphanage.” They recognize in me the outward and visible representative of the many generous hearts that help me. They know me, for they can see me, and they say, “God bless you,” because they have someone to say it to. There is nothing particular about me, certainly, and there are others who deserve far more gratitude than that which comes, to me; but it does come to me because the poor people know the name and the man, and have not to look at a mere abstraction. Pardon the illustration: it suits my purpose well. If you have a Christ whom you cannot realize you will not love him with that fervent affection which is so much to be desired. If you cannot reach the Lord in your mind, you will not embrace him in your heart; but if you have realized the blessed Master, if he has become a true existence to you, one who has really loved you and washed you from your sins, and made you a king and a priest, then your love must flow out towards him. You cannot resist the impulse to love one who has so truly loved you, and is so well known to you

Quick Tip – Vine Support

This rather blurry photo is of a jasmine vine, blooming at this time in my home. The small blossom, about the size of a dime, emits a powerful fragrance. When the plant has several blooms the scent can fill the entire upstairs.

This variety of jasmine is a vining plant. I believe the variety is probably Jasminum sambac, possibly Maid of Orleans cultivar. The older branching vines turn woody with age, making them very sturdy. The new growth of the vines is green and supple and needs a bit of support. I use small  3/4 inch hair clips, easily found at a dollar store, to hold up the new growth until it hardens a bit.

The clips are easy to attach and remove, don’t bind the stems, and are surprisingly strong.

Quick Tip & Pots and Pans – Chicken Tetrazzini/Tortellini

I love chicken tetrazzini. Yesterday it was my planned dinner before I stopped by the new Lidl store in our town. Inside the freezer case my eyes fell upon a bag of frozen cheese tortellini. I had to have that tortellini for dinner too, but already had a pasta ingredient in my tetrazzini menu. I decided to combine the pastas. I halved the spaghetti amount, added in about half the bag of tortellini when the spaghetti was in it’s final minute of boiling, and mixed up all the tetrazzini ingredients. Oh my! I doubt I will ever go back to the old way of making this dish. The cheese tortellini complemented the grated asiago cheese in the recipe. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers as a side dish tonight.  Give this a try if you like tortellini.

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology/Part 10 – Questions and an Answer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John’s Doxology – C.H. Spurgeon

“I pray that every professor here may have a real Christ, for otherwise he will never be a real Christian. I want you to recognize in this realization of Christ by John this teaching,— that we are to regard our holy faith as based on facts and realities. We have not followed cunningly-devised fables. Do you believe in the divine life of Christ? Do you also believe that he who is “very God of very God” actually became incarnate and was born at Bethlehem? Do you put down the union of the Godhead with our humanity as an historical fact which has the most potent bearing upon all the history of mankind? Do you believe that Jesus lived on earth and trod the blessed acres of Judæa, toiling for our sake, and that he did actually and really die on the behalf of sinners? Do you believe that he was buried, and on the third day rose again from the dead? Are these stories in a book or facts in the life of a familiar friend? To me it is the grandest fact in all history, that the Son of God died and rose again from the dead, and ever lives as my representative. Many statements in history are well attested, but no fact in human records is one half as well attested as the certain resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This is no invention, no fable, no parable, but a literal fact, and on it all the confidence of the believer leans. If Christ is not risen, then your faith is vain; but as he surely rose again, and is now at the right hand of God, even the Father, and will shortly come to be our judge, your faith is justified, and shall in due season have its reward. Get a religion of facts and you will have a religion which will produce facts by operating upon your life and character; but a religion of fancies is but a fancied religion, and nothing practical will come of it.”

People & Pages – Throwback Thursday/Shirley Temple and Dr. Seuss

Last week I purchased this beautiful book on Shirley Temple. Written by Jerome Beatty and published in 1935, the book is as lovely as the subject.

I loved watching Shirley Temple movies as a child. I still love them in my adult years. Last week, thinking back on the sweet stories, I realized that there were some scenes in the movies that would be deemed politically incorrect in our current age and state of affairs. While there are some portrayals that might need to be explained to a child in today’s politically correct climate, it would be apparent to even a six year old that no harm toward anyone was intended by what is now considered questionable moments.

I was so elated to find the book I began to wish I had all Shirley Temple’s movies on DVD. Would the cancel culture of the 2020’s rip away all evidence of her body of work? I researched buying a set of her movies, found what I was looking for, and placed it in my shopping cart to mull over a bit before I committed to buying. I wish I had bought the set right away.

Fast forward to this week.

Dr. Seuss…criticized, cancelled, perhaps banned. How can this be my world? I must have read Go Dog Go! to my sons well over a hundred times. I can still remember holding them on my lap as I read, and yelling out, ‘A Dog Party,’ at the end of the book. How could anyone sane cancel or ban Dr Seuss? They can’t…this is insanity!

As soon as the brouhaha of the Dr. Seuss fake fiasco reached my ears my indecision vanished; I went to my shopping cart to purchase the Shirley Temple DVD set. It was no longer available. My only choice was to pay $25.00 more for a similar set. Either someone bought all the available lower-priced versions, or the company itself was taking advantage of what they foresaw, as did I, would be the next sweet thing on the chopping block.

The moral of the tale: if you feel something is in danger of being cancelled, or might disappear, find a way to save and treasure it. I am happy to say, I have at least three Dr. Seuss books in the house. They aren’t the books in question, but you can be sure I will look for those in every thrift store I visit.

People, Quote – Previously Posted – Peter Marshall

Peter Marshall Quote

“Peter Marshall (May 27, 1902 – January 26, 1949[1]) was a Scots-American preacher, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC and twice appointed as Chaplain of the United States Senate.”

Many thanks to the reader who yesterday commented on this post. She asked a question about a Peter Marshall quote from the book A Man Called Peter. Here’s her question if anyone knows the answer please comment below the post. Thanks!

“There is a quote by Peter Marshall in the book A MAN CALLED PETER that is something like this but I cannot find it: No one knows why one person fall for another but when that attraction becomes mutual, that’s God’s most potent chemistry. Anyone know where to find it? I am sure it’s in that book.” ~Jeanne

Photograph – Monochrome Monday – Delaware River Goose

It was a dreary weekend, but we walked along the Delaware River, at National Park, to pass a bit of time outdoors. A goose seemed tired of all the cold and rain too, while his flock swam, he surveyed the water and the people strolling along the shoreline. The sky was such a dismal grey, I didn’t need any filters to remove color, the landscape was monochrome all on its own. Hurry Spring! Welcome March!

Praise – Charles Haddon Spurgeon/John’s Doxology – “I Saw Him” – Part 9

Today, is the year anniversary of a person dear to me entering into heaven. I have been thinking of my Uncle John, and all my family who have gone on to Glory.

My uncle was a wonderful man, a Man of God, a preacher of the Word for decades. A great husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend. I have two terrific uncles, and I feel my life has been blessed by both.

Family is so important to me. When I was young, along with different combinations of sisters and cousins, I spent several weeks each summer with grandparents. Today, the paragraph from Spurgeon’s message is reminding me of my paternal grandmother through the words, I SAW HIM. Granny lived a spirit-filled life, and she taught us the same by being a great witness. She was also fun, a great cook, but instead of heating up the kitchen in the heat of mid-day, every afternoon for lunch we would have watermelon and ice cream Sundays for dessert. I have so many good memories of those hot summer days in the Tidewater area of Virginia.

One of my favorite memories is reliving the times I sat near Granny in church. Oh how my attitudes have changed! When I was a child I wasn’t all that thrilled about spending Wednesday night, Sunday morning, and Sunday night in church service, but now I look back and wish I could sit there again and say hello to Sister Crowe, Brother Gibbons, and others who were kind and welcoming to my sister and me.

For some reason, I remember quite clearly sitting near my grandmother when the church sang the congregational song of, ‘My Savior First of All’, by Fanny Crosby. Granny would shut her eyes, blocking out the world, and honestly, when I think back, I almost remember her face glowing as she sang the chorus. I like to think of her spirit shining in just that way when she met her Savior as she left this world. Because of her wonderful witness to me, I know that she SAW HIM first of all.

“I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
And redeemed by His side I shall stand,
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
By the print of the nails in His hand.”
~ Fanny Crosby

For Granny’s Home-going service one of the suggestions for a hymn was ‘My Savior First of All,‘ and that is what we sang.

JOHN’S DOXOLOGY – C.H. SPURGEON

So, too, if we are “kings and priests,” it is Jesus who has made us so.

“Round the altar priests confess:If their robes are white as snow,
’Twas the Saviour’s righteousness
And his blood that made them so.”

Our royal dignity and our priestly sanctity are both derived from him. Let us not only behold the streams, but also consider the source. Bow before the blessed and only Potentate who doth encrown and enthrone us, and extol the faithful high-priest who doth enrobe and anoint us. See the divine actor in the grand scene, and remember that he ever liveth, and therefore to him should we render perpetual glory. John worships the Lord himself. His mind is not set upon his garments, his crowns, his offices, or his works, but upon himself, his very self. “I SAW HIM, says the beloved apostle, and that vision almost blotted out the rest. His heart was all for Jesus. The censer must smoke unto him, the song must rise unto him;— unto himself, unto his very self.