Friday, July 26, 2013

Sacred Harp Singing

Heading to another family reunion this weekend, I'm reading through old records and was reminded that my paternal grandfather's family were good singers.  The following is clipped from a transcribed (and recently reprinted) oral history entitled The Jordans of Brindlee Mountain.

JCB, Sheffield, and Tom were accomplished Sacred Harp singers.
  Old singing minutes describe how they conducted class, 15 minutes each. 
 Herbert also loved Sacred Harp singing and was a great bass.

Here is a link to the family church, Rocky Mount Primitive Baptist Church, where my cousin, Matt Jordan is pastor.  I think I need to learn how to sing this way ~

Listen up!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Chapter 14


The concluding chapter of Edith Schaeffer's The Hidden Art of Homemaking is a culmination of previous thirteen.

In other words, the sum of the pieces creates the whole.

As we act on our talents (or not), we have a hand in the finished product.

Whether we recognize that principle or not.

Mrs. Schaeffer freshens our understanding of an old truth.

I call it *atmostphere*

That special mood or feeling associated with a place.

our conversations, attitudes, behaviour, response or lack of response, hardness or compassion, our love or selfishness, joy or dullness, our demostrated trust and faith or our continual despondency, our concern for others or our self pity 

-- all these things make a difference to the people who have to live in our environment.

That far-reaching influence is a matter of prayer.

May God through the power of His Holy Spirit allow me to glorify Him in these many areas of my life.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sundays are Special

Each week Sunday's routine is set apart from that of the other six days.  One way we express honor to our King is that we dress differently.

Another way is to enjoy a fellowship meal after congregational worship (sometimes at church, sometimes at home).

Today DD#3 blessed us with her baking skills:

Peaches 'n Pecans Cake

But first we have to eat our vegetables ~

Cauliflower Maranca

Steamed Green Beans

Grilled Yellow Squash

Pickled Okra

Toasted W.W. Biscuits

Sweet Tea



Beans, squash, and tomatoes are compliments of neighbors' gardens.  Pickled okra from the local farmers market.  Peaches and pecans Georgia-grown as well!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Posting this so that I can reference this quote, especially the part in bold (mine)

In 1890, Andrew Bonar commented in his diary on the effect of reading The Life of David Brainerd. Without at all questioning the excellence of that man of God, Bonar wrote:

It seemed to me that he [Brainerd] did not hold fellowship with the living Saviour as he might have done, and did not see himself covered with Christ's merits whereby God's eye was turned away from his imperfections, corruptions, ignorance, failures, because the obedience of Christ was imputed to him. I would be like Brainerd every day, mourning and sad, if I did not see myself so covered with the obedience of Christ that the Father saw me in Him to be beautiful and attractive, because of the garment of righteousness [July 20, 1890].
Beautiful and attractive? Not in ourselves, nor need we try to make ourselves so, but our 'beauty is perfect, through my comeliness, which I put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD' (Ezekiel 16:14).  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cauliflower Maranca

from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook

Prepare 1 1/2 cups (dry) brown rice, so that you will have three full cups for the base of this yummy main dish.

In a large pan over medium heat, saute in butter with the juice of one lemon:

1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, chopped

Set aside.

In same pan, saute 3 cloves pressed garlic in 1Tbs oil.  Add 1 lg head cauliflower, washed and trimmed into bite-sized flowerettes.

Stir until coated.  Add liquid from mushroom-onion saute. Cover and steam for five minutes until cauliflower is tender.

Return the mushrooms and onions to the pan.  Add 3 cups cooked brown rice, and 2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese.  Stir until combined.

Turn into 9x12 buttered baking dish.

Bake (covered) for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly browned.

Serves 5-6 adults.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Chapter 13


There is no real possibility of an integration that is true and meaningful in the total sense unless it is based on the inner integration which God has made possible through the second person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ.

Defining terms and illustrating with Scripture establish Edith Schaeffer's platform as she delves into the touchy topic of segregation.

Wholeness seems to be a reasonable synonym for what we are striving for, when we are thwarted by complicating factors such as mixed languages, fierce competition, various rivalries, and stilted categories.

And just when we are overwhelmed by weight of the matter, Mrs Schaeffer directs our vision to the proper area of our influence.

The home.

Start with practicing greater sharing within the family.  Mealtime is the perfect opportunity.

That is the homemaker's model.

The most real something you can do is within the family unit, as you open it up to others, to a cross-section of ages and peoples, or the gathering together of community life on a small scale.

The Schaeffer's devoted their lives to this principle at L'Abri.

On a very small scale, I hope my home can be a shelter characterized by the art of conversation and peacemaking.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Fashion

Two things I am sharing to wind up the conversation about clothing per Edith Schaeffer in her fine volume, The Hidden Art of Homemaking.

First, Pantone's color card for the upcoming Fall/Winter season.  I print and store one in my handbag for shopping purposes.  Another hangs on the wall of my closet.

Second, a well-known poem. It describes the most effective way of maintaining beauty, a fashion that never goes out of style. It was originally written for the poet's granddaughter, but popularized by actress Audrey Hepburn.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; Never throw out anybody. 

Remember, If you ever need a helping hand, you'll find one at the end of your arm.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!

by Sam Levenson
American humorist, writer, journalist and television host
1911 - 1980

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Francis Schaeffer's Style

Francis Schaeffer could also be explored as a case study in the crippling evangelical weakness for spiritual celebrities.

Much of American evangelicalism consists of independent parachurch organizations founded by ambitious spiritual entrepreneurs.

These organizations depend on popular support so they must project favorable public images of themselves. This typically involves lionization of the founder, which usually traces back to the founder’s own self-promotion.

Ever since George Whitefield crafted the public persona that made him the first true celebrity of the British North American colonies, American evangelical entrepreneurs have followed his lead.

Schaeffer was no exception.

He created and maintained the public persona of a countercultural sage come down from the mountain with a new word of wisdom from the Lord.

Such a mythic image could only be sustained through the art of illusion.

This began with his costume.

I copied the above paragraph from an article published in the Evangelical Studies Bulletin Issue #70 (Winter 2008-09).

I found the photo of  Schaeffer in his co-authored book, Whatever Happened to the Human Race.  When I heard him speak in 1979 or '80, he was dressed as pictured.  

Bonus link about judging the book by its cover.

Postscript ~
I *like* Francis Schaeffer and do not mean to disparage his reputation by sharing Michael Hamilton's insightful review of two Schaeffer biographies.

Post-postscript added 3/10/15
Link to article about celebrity pastors

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club:Mrs Schaeffer's Style

In a time when evangelicals were suspicious of all things worldly, Edith reveled in music and dance, in her neat little figure and in beautiful clothes:

 "I was 5-foot-2 and weighed 102 pounds and wore clothes that looked like they had come out of the best shops" she tells us, breathlessly, as an example of why she didn't measure up to the standards of Christian womanhood at that time, which, apparently, included dowdiness as well as a rejection of culture. 

She was intelligent and full of conviction. She had a lot to say.

As a young pastor's wife and mother, she single-handedly catered weddings, complete with hand-filled cream puffs. She sewed beautiful clothes for her children, read to them from the classics, and took them to art museums, all, of course, while keeping her figure and continuing to wear good clothes, pearls, makeup, Chanel No. 5.

Read the rest of Rachel Marie
 Stone's article at her-meneutics ~

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Chapter 12


Broadly speaking, author Edith Schaeffer is really addressing communication skills in her timeless book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking, which I am reading with Cindy and others for an online book club.

Few things speak more loudly than how we dress.

Because we Christian ladies are representing the Creator, it behooves us to understand that He dresses us and that we should dress for Him.

Once that tone is established, I think most things will fall into place.

Mrs. Schaeffer cautions us to have an approach that is both balanced and serious, yet avoids dogmatism.

She reminds us that fashion can open up lines of communication.  Some governing factors include occupation, climate, appropriateness, comfort, creativity, and beauty.

Finally, Mrs. Schaeffer encourages us to look past the covering and search for what's inside.

Overall, this chapter ties with the one about food as my favorites.  In my blogging, I have referenced them the most.

For a while I had fun highlighting fashion on Fridays.

My premise was to find a piece of clothing that I had not worn in a while and rework it.

Below is the Pantone company's 2013 Spring and Summer recommendations that I am using to organize my closet right now.

I found that by focusing on a seasonal color palette that I felt more stylish. 

 I stopped trying to wear the style (or cut) of attire that was newest and often not flattering to my figure.

 I started highlighting the colors that were more up-to-date.

Off to work now in Monaco Blue and Poppy Red ....

 My jumpers are in the attic  ;-)

Here's a link to fun article about dressing styles ~

Thursday, July 04, 2013

The Rising

Our Independence Day plans may have been rained out, but not our sentiments. In addition to reading this poem (don't miss link at the end of the post) with my family, we're going to be re-reading the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

Out of the North the wild news came,
Far flashing on its wings of flame,
Swift as the boreal light which flies
At midnight through the startled skies.
And there was tumult in the air,
The fife's shrill note, the drum's loud beat,
And through the land everywhere
The answering tread of hurrying feet;
While the first oath of Freedom's gun
Came on the blast from Lexington;
And Concord, roused, no longer tame,
Forgot her old baptismal name,
Made bare her patriot arm of power,
And swelled the discord of the hour.

Within its shade of elm and oak
The church of Berkely Manor stood;
There Sunday found the rural folk,
And some esteemed of gentle blood.
In vain their feet with loitering tread
Passed 'mid the graves where rank is naught;
All could not read the lesson taught
In that republic of the dead.

How sweet the hour of Sabbath talk,
The vale with peace and sunshine full
Where all the happy people walk,
Decked in their homespun flax and wool!
Where youth's gay hats with blossoms bloom;
And every maid with simple art,
Wears on her breast, like her own heart,
A bud whose depths are all perfume;
While every garment's gentle stir
Is breathing rose and lavender.

The pastor came; his snowy locks
Hallowed his brow of thought and care;
And calmly, as shepherds lead their flocks,
He led into the house of prayer.
The pastor rose; the prayer was strong;
The psalm was warrior David's song;
The text, a few short words of might,-
"The Lord of hosts shall arm the Right!"

He spoke of wrongs too long endured,
Of sacred rights to be secured;
Then from his patriot tongue of flame
The startling words for Freedom came.
The stirring sentences he spake
Compelled the heart to glow or quake,
And, rising on his theme's broad wing,
And grasping in his nervous hand
The imaginary battle brand,
In face of death he dared to fling
Defiance to a tyrant king.

Even as he spoke, his frame, renewed
In eloquence of attitude,
Rose, as it seemed, a shoulder higher;
Then swept his kindling glance of fire
From startled pew to breathless choir;
When suddenly his mantle wide
His hands impatient flung aside,
And, Lo! he met their wondering eyes
Complete in all a warrior's guise.

A moment there was awful pause,---
When Berkeley cried, "Cease, traitor! cease!
God's temple is the house of peace!"
The other shouted, "Nay, not so,
When God is with our righteous cause;
His holiest places then are ours,
His temples are our forts and towers,
That frown upon the tyrant foe;
In this, the dawn of Freedom's say,
There is a time to fight and pray!"

And now before the open door-
The warrior priest had ordered so-
The enlisting trumpet's sudden roar
Rang through the chapel, o'er and o'er,
Its long reverberating blow
So loud and clear, it seemed the ear
Of dusty death must wake and hear.

And there the startling drum and fife
Fired the living with fiercer life;
While overhead, with wild increase,
Forgetting its ancient toll of peace,
The great bell swung as ne'er before;
It seemed as it would never cease;
And every word its ardor flung
From off its jubilant iron tongue
Was, "War! War! War!"

"Who dares?" - this was the patriot's cry,
As striding from the desk he came,-
"Come out with me, in Freedom's name,
For her to live, for her to die?"
A hundred hands flung up reply,
A hundred voices answered, "I!"

Thomas Buchanan Read
American poet and portrait painter

Here's a link to YouTube with my pastor reading this poem aloud.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

CWAC Details

Arriving around 4 o'clock on a Saturday afternoon, we just have enough time to unload/unpack before it's time to head outside for our daily, informal 5 o'clock gathering known as Circle Time.

We all bring a cool beverage and an appetizer.

Visitin' happens.

After the Sunday morning 2-hour outdoor photo session when my mother takes pictures to use for the family calendar my parents produce, we picnic together.

Everyone brings their own plate outside for more visitin' because we all believe ~

Food and meal-times shared
 have always been thought of 
as a closer kind of communication
 than simply talking to people,
 without eating together.

Here's what my week of menus looks like ~

Saturday:  Honey Baked Ham, Cauliflower Salad, Baby Butter Beans, Cornbread, and Pound Cake

Sunday:  Krispy's Fried Chicken (purchased locally),

 Steamed Green Beans, 

Sliced Tomatoes, Pickled Okra, 


and the

Celebratory Cookie Cake

Monday:  BBQ Pork, Baked Beans, Coleslaw, and Brownies

Tuesday:  Summer Herb Pasta with freshly grated Parmesan, Steamed Asparagus, Rice Krispie Treats

Wednesday:  Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches, Corn on the Cob, and Fresh Peaches

Thursday:  Frogmore Stew aka Low Country Boil, Caesar Salad, and Birthday Cake

Friday:  Leftovers Picnic = Fun idea where everybody clears his/her 'fridge in preparation for leaving.  Kind of like a pot luck (providence) dinner!

That's all for now.

Gotta get ready for Zumba class.

Addendum ~
Favorite B'fast = Hard Boiled Egg, Fresh GA Peach, Black Coffee
Favorite Lunch= Gazpacho and Pimento Cheese on Frito Scoop

Monday, July 01, 2013

Hidden Art Book Club: Chapter 11

Creative Recreation

Currently I am recreating at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA.

Which means that I am resting per Edith:

a sliding away from daily tensions and worries, changing my perspective, emptying my mind of the daily grind,

 releasing and producing creative energy.

Which, in turn, is the result of original ideas, creatively planned not only by the Callaway family (who preserved and developed the area)

but also my parents who for the past 25 years have gathered their six children (and spouses) plus their 29 grandchildren (and spouses)  together annually for resting.

While here I plan to explore the nature trails, visit the horticultural center, watch the butterflies, and attend the birds of prey demonstration.  That's just the beginning of getting outside, out of doors, and doing something different.

My parents took the challenge and developed it, as Edith suggests, giving memories of a childhood to the children of their children... not just watching it on a screen.

CWAC = Cousins Week at Callaway

Thanks to BaaBee and DanDan!!

and the Callaway Family ~

Whose purpose in establishing the Gardens
 is to provide a wholesome environment
 where all may find beauty, relaxation, inspiration,
 and a better understanding of the living world.

This post is written in conjunction with an online book club.  We are reading Edith Schaeffer's The Hidden Art of Homemaking.  Cindy Rollins is the hostess/moderator.  Visit her informative blog