Friday, December 17, 2010

She's Due Tomorrow

My dear sister is due tomorrow, but her first baby was over a week late, so we'll see...

Doesn't she look lovely?

My apologies for neglecting my blog lately.  We are in the middle of communion season now, and next week I am heading to the Midwest for a week to visit relatives there; so I will probably continue to neglect this poor blog until early next year, when I'll try to catch up on my backlog of "things to post."  And I do have things to post-- psalm recordings, photos, and more.

(In my absence, you might keep an eye on the "recent comments" gadget to the left, as we've had some interesting comments and links posted lately.  Though be forewarned--the gadget doesn't always update right away.)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

FCC Psalm Recordings, and a Useful Link

The other day, I was sent the link to the Aberdeen Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) website.  The Aberdeen FCC site has midi files of *all* the psalm tunes from the psalter we use, which is the 1992 version of the split-leaf psalter published by the Free Church of Scotland.

Aberdeen Free Church Continuing--Online Media

I was very pleased to receive this link, as I've had trouble finding audio files of psalm tunes in the past.  I was also pleased to discover, on this site, a few recordings of the psalms being sung.  You'll find three recordings at the very bottom of the page linked above; and click on the "Psalmody CDs" link in the sidebar to find two more recordings, samples from CDs that this church has produced.

The recordings from the Aberdeen FCC site are excerpts from Psalms 36, 68, 85, 112, and 136.  I've added them to this post, which is an index of all the psalm recordings I have been able to find online.

Also, you might have noticed that I've added a "psalm singing" page to my blog (see the tabs at the top).  There's nothing new at this point--just a player with all of the psalms that we have recorded here at our monthly psalm singings, plus a link to the post with the index of psalm recordings; but I thought it might be useful to have that info quickly accessible at the top of the page for psalm-singing fans. :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

November Psalm Sing

After a few delays, we finally got around to hosting another psalm singing gathering last Saturday.
We had a really nice time of singing and visiting with our dear friends, some of whom we haven't seen in a while; Jett and Evelyn and their children were here, and Joseph and Carolyn and their children had just flown in from Colorado. After the singing and visiting we had dinner, dessert, and family worship together. 

We worked on three tunes: St. Lawrence, St. Mary, and St. Neot, which we sang to Psalm 72, Psalm 22, and Psalm 69, respectively.  As usual, we had lots of beautiful little children present :) and you'll hear them playing in the background.

We were missing two of our bass singers, so we had to shuffle some people to different parts, but Jesh (who always knows best) thinks that we blended pretty well with the new arrangement.  Still, I missed hearing Sam sing tenor.

As always, you can download these recordings to your own computer at

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Why I Didn't Vote

I've always felt a little uneasy about voting for the "lesser of two evils" in our country's elections, but it wasn't until I went through a membership class at the RPCNA (Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America) that I finally became fully comfortable with abstaining from voting.  The RPCNA has a strong history of political dissent, and while their stance has changed slightly over the years, the RPCNA Testimony still has some interesting things to say about the Christian's responsibilities regarding voting.

Here is a blog post I came across the other day, by Rev. Eshelman of the RPCNA, that quotes the relevant portions of the Testimony.  I haven't done any exhaustive study on the topic of the establishment principle (though I intend to, someday, when I get the time), so I reserve the right to change my views in the future, but for the time being, I would say that I am in agreement with the portions of the RPCNA Testimony quoted in this blog post.

A Reformed Voter's Guide

Edited to add: see the comments section for a link to another article with similar conclusions, this one written by an FP.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Excellent Lecture on Christian Education

My brother Caleb, knowing that I would be interested, sent me the link to this lecture by Rev. David Silversides of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland.  Mr. Silversides argues for the necessity of a Christian education for our children.  I stayed up late after the children were in bed to have a listen, and it was worth it.

Do We Need Christian Schools?

Mr. Silversides made some excellent points.  Here is an outline of his lecture, copied and pasted from Sermon Audio:
The argument and emphasis presented here is for the
consistent godly nurture of our children which
necessarily involves a strictly Christian education.
Positive and biblical reasons are given, and some
objections to an exclusively Christian education are

Some basic questions:

1. Who tells us what to do with our children?
2. Who does God hold responsible for the care of his
3. Is the nurture of children ever neutral?
4. Does the bible say we must have schools?
5. If we have schools must they be Christian ones?

Some objections:

- The hot house objection. Are you not creating a
hot house for your children?
- Won't children rebel against such a stifling
- Are we not in danger of doing the Holy Spirit's
- State education didn't do me any harm.

I especially appreciated Mr. Silversides' handling of his third point, and his responses to the objections (not all of which are listed in the above outline).

Let me know what you think!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Half an Hour of Unschooling

You may have heard me say that I'm "unschooling" my boys for the time being, except for our more structured studies in Bible and math.  Have you wondered what "unschooling" is?  I'll give you a hint--it's what most parents are already doing with their small children: talking to them and showing them things--only kicked up a notch or two.  Check out this post on our new homeschooling blog for an example.

Half an Hour of Unschooling

I hope you all have an excellent Monday!

Friday, October 29, 2010

New Homeschooling Blog

Hello friends,

A few homeschooling moms including myself have started a new blog about homeschooling. 

Our goal is to open a little window into the lives of several different homeschooling families, so that anyone who is interested can see what homeschooling is really like.

We do this for several reasons: firstly, in hopes of dispelling a few persistent and inaccurate stereotypes about homeschooling and homeschoolers; and secondly, in hopes of inspiring and encouraging those who are thinking about homeschooling, and those who (like me) are just getting started and could use some ideas.

The authors come from different sizes and sorts of families in the UK and US, and no doubt our homeschooling methods vary quite a bit, too.  But what we all have in common is our Reformed Christian faith, which motivates and colors all that we do.

I'm looking forward to reading the new posts, aren't you?  Go ahead and bookmark the link, or follow in your favorite reader.  I'll post the link on my "other blogs" page.

Training Up Our Children

Whenever I get around to writing up a "Why I Homeschool" type of post, I'll post that here as well as on the homeschooling blog.  But all the nitty-gritty details about homeschooling and its challenges will go on the other blog.

I hope you all have an excellent Friday.  I know we will; it's sunny, breezy, and cool (low 70's is the forecast).  And we're going to the library today!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Where did October go?

It's nearly the end of the month.  What happened to October?  I just looked at the date of my last post and realized that it's been almost two weeks.  And I haven't written a post of substance since the beginning of the month. 

I guess there are a few reasons I haven't posted much.  For one thing, comment reading/writing/re-writing/moderating has kept me busy.  The couple of posts that I have written have gone into my already-full "drafts" folder to be mulled over for a while.  And last but not least, I've been busy making things.

I made this
 and this
 and this
 and these.
 This one I sold in my Etsy shop to some guy in Finland.

I work exclusively with recycled materials.  The above items were made with yarn unraveled from old sweaters (great way to get quality yarns dirt cheap, by the way).  I have a blog about crafting with recycled materials, actually, but I haven't posted much yet; and besides, I haven't made up my mind whether I will keep it on Wordpress, or go back to Blogger where it was originally.  Once I make up my mind, I will add the link to my "other blogs" page.

In other news, we will finally be having another psalm sing next weekend.  All being well, we will have a few more recordings to post. :)

Must run get little boys ready for tonight's prayer meeting!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Three things

Firstly, I've been playing around with the design of the blog.  Do you love it?  Hate it?  I haven't made up my mind whether I like it or not.  I reserve the right to change it again without notice.  That header will probably change, for one thing (but isn't that a cool hawk photo?  My mom took it).  Sorry if the changes are disorienting, and I promise that within a few days, I will settle on a final design and then leave it alone for a while. :)

Secondly, on several occasions I've gotten comments that said, in part, "Feel free to edit this if you need to."  For the record, I can't edit comments.  I can only accept or reject them as is.  If I think something needs changing, I will have to e-mail you and invite you to re-write and re-submit it.  Sorry about that.

Thirdly, I've added a page entitled "Homeschooling Resources."  I will be linking to websites and books that I have found useful, and explaining why I like them.  I hope this page will be of interest to those of you who are homeschooling young children, or plan to.  I'll be listing more resources there soon, so stay tuned.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Education: Three Points to Consider

My wise brother has pointed out that there are really three separate questions to consider when thinking about the education of our children, and that when people discuss the subject, the three questions sometimes get muddled together, when they really ought to be kept separate.

So here are the three questions.  What do you think?

1. Should the education of our children be explicitly Christian?  As a sort of sub-question, one might consider, can an education really be neutral?
2.  Can a child be taught as well by his parents as by a professional teacher?
3.  The question of influence: does the child influence the school, or the school the child?

In case you couldn't guess, my answers would be:
1. Yes, and no.
2. Yes.
3. The school influences the child.

What do you think? 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Last Friday

On Friday the boys and I took a trip to Galveston.  We like Galveston.  First we rode the ferry, which is both exciting, and free.  (Sadly, this time we did not see any dolphins.)  The ferry goes from Galveston Island to the Bolivar Peninsula, which doesn't have much of anything on it (thanks Ike), except for the Fort Travis Seashore Park, which is interesting thanks to its crumbling old concrete bunkers and fortifications.

These kids are so stinking cute together, I can't stand it.  Isn't this a cool rusty old door?  It leads into one of the old concrete bunkers.  You can't see the jagged piece of rusty metal sticking out right behind Noah's bare legs.

I guess funds are low or something because this park does not seem to be big on safety.  It was odd to see this open manhole cover without at least caution tape or a warning sign or something. I suspect that some unsupervised youth have been using this tunnel here to access the interior of the bunker, which is supposed to be off limits.

Looks kind of desolate, don't you think?

Oh, here at last is a "danger" sign. Just to the right of all the broken off fence posts with the jagged metal edges.  It's funny, walking around this place, I felt like I was trespassing on abandoned property. 

We spent a little while on the playground (which is in good repair, thankfully).  Behind Noah is the Houston ship channel, which leads to the Port of Houston, the busiest port in the US.  In this photo, you can see five vessels if you look closely (one is just a dot on the horizon).  It's kind of neat seeing all the industry along the channel--the huge loading docks, the oil refineries, and of course the cargo ships, fishing vessels, and oil rigs.  Occasionally we see a huge cruise ship with passengers lining the rails.  Lots of things to talk to the boys about, and to look up in the encyclopedia when we get home.

After we came back from the Bolivar Peninsula, we parked along the Galveston seawall and spent some time on the beach.  The boys had a grand time digging in the sand. 

In other news, the weather here gets more fantastic by the day.  Look at the forecast for the next week:
 In case you can't read it, it says "Weather forecast: gorgeous, gorgeous, and more gorgeous."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

More Psalm Recordings!

This morning I discovered more psalm recordings on two different websites.  As far as I can tell, they have been there for a while, or at least long enough for my dear brother to have already known about them.  Why am I always the last to know about these things?  :)

The recordings posted on Middletome are older recordings, so the sound quality is up and down.  And each file has multiple psalms on it, not identified in the file name, so you won't know what you're getting until you listen.  But still, psalm recordings. :)

The recordings on are more recent and therefore of higher quality, and they are neatly listed and identified by psalm and tune.  I have added those psalms to the list in this post

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Recordings from the Scottish Psalter, Book 5, Psalms 107-150

Recordings from the Scottish Metrical Psalter (1650).  These recordings are all sung a cappella, and are free to download.

For more recordings, and for more information about the people who made these recordings, click here.

In order from left to right, we have: the psalm, the tune, and the people/group singing.  Click on the psalm to be taken to the hosting site where you can listen and/or download the recording.

I've put an "R" next to the tunes that repeat a line, since I know that not everyone appreciates those (as my brother says, "If that line was meant to be repeated, it would be repeated in the Bible.").

The quality of these may vary.

Where there are multiple recordings per psalm or section of a psalm, I've tried to pick out my favorites to include in the playlist I listen to regularly.  The recordings in my playlist are marked with an asterisk *.

PsalmTuneWho's Singing?
Psalm 107:1-8EpworthCCRPC
*Psalm 107:1-9GainsboroughNiallags
*Psalm 107:10-16Amazing GraceNiallags
*Psalm 107:17-22NativityNiallags
*Psalm 107:23-30KilmarnockNiallags
*Psalm 107:23-30TorwoodSanta Fe
Psalm 107:23-31LochbroomHighland Harmony Singers
*Psalm 107:37-43GlenluceAberdeen FCC
*Psalm 108BishopthorpeCCRPC
*Psalm 110SouthwarkSanta Fe
*Psalm 112:1-5CaithnessAberdeen FCC
*Psalm 113St. EtheldredaSanta Fe
*Psalm 115:12-18ContemplationSanta Fe
*Psalm 116:1-7RestAberdeen FCC
*Psalm 116:1-6ColeshillSanta Fe
*Psalm 116:13-19EricstaneAberdeen FCC
*Psalm 119:9-14St. Paulunknown
Psalm 119:57-60BelmontAberdeen FCC
*Psalm 119:57-60BelmontHighland Harmony Singers
Psalm 119:57-64BelmontNiallags
*Psalm 119:57-64BelmontSanta Fe
*Psalm 119:89-96PalestrinaNiallags
*Psalm 119:169-176St. AndrewSanta Fe
*Psalm 121FrenchSanta Fe
Psalm 121FrenchFree Church
Psalm 121FrenchNiallags
Psalm 121Frenchsomebody's wedding
Psalm 122Free ChurchFree Church
*Psalm 122St. PaulNiallags
*Psalm 127:1-5St. Andrewunknown
*Psalm 128:1-6Howardunknown
Psalm 130Bays of HarrisFree Church
*Psalm 130MartyrdomFP congregation
*Psalm 130MartyrdomNiallags
*Psalm 132:1-9St. FlavianSanta Fe
Psalm 133Eastgate RCCRPC
Psalm 133Eastgate RHighland Harmony Singers
*Psalm 133CrimondSanta Fe
*Psalm 135:1-5SouthwarkConnorQ
*Psalm 137DunlapscreekCCRPC
*Psalm 138:1-3TivertonConnorQ
*Psalm 139:1-10St. ColumbaConnorQ
*Psalm 139:3-9 2ndCroft's 136thAberdeen FCC
*Psalm 143:1-5 2ndLeucharsSanta Fe
*Psalm 143:6-8 2ndHeberunknown
*Psalm 145:1-7 2ndRockinghamSanta Fe
*Psalm 145:9-15 2ndRetreatSanta Fe
*Psalm 146:5-8UniversityConnorQ
*Psalm 147:1-5HuddersfieldConnorQ
*Psalm 147:3-7HuddersfieldGlasgow FPs
*Psalm 149:1-4New Lydia RConnorQ

Monday, September 20, 2010

Free Psalm Recordings, Scottish Psalter

NOTE: a more comprehensive list of psalm recordings can be found here:


I enjoy listening to recordings of psalm singing.  Some time ago, I began a quest to hunt down all the psalm recordings available online.  I was looking for recordings a) from the Scottish Metrical Psalter of 1650, b) unaccompanied by musical instruments, and c) free to download.  I've compiled a list of everything I could find that met my criteria, and thought I would share it with y'all.

The number of recordings available online has multiplied greatly in the last couple of years, so I'm no longer including links to every recording that I can find.  I'm just including my favorites and the ones I listen to most regularly.  I've divided the list into five parts according to the five books of the psalms:

Book 1: Psalms 1-41
Book 2: Psalms 42-72
Book 3: Psalms 73-89
Book 4: Psalms 90-106
Book 5: Psalms 107-150

A little more about the people behind the recordings:

1. Santa Fe--as you probably know, Jesh and I have been hosting occasional psalm singing gatherings, attended mostly by people from the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland in Santa Fe, plus occasional guests.  We currently have these recordings hosted on; the list is here.
2. CCRPC--Christ Covenant Reformed Presbyterian Church (RPCGA) in Wylie, Texas.  This church uses the Comprehensive Psalter, which has the same text as the 1650 Psalter, but divided into selections with assigned tunes. Their recordings are posted here.  They are singing straight through the psalter, and posting new recordings monthly.
3. Free Church--the Free Church of Scotland has a few psalm recordings on their website, but many of them are from their modernized psalter, not the 1650.  They also have some Gaelic recordings.  Another list of Free Church recordings can be found here, but most of those are duplicates from the Free Church site; the only one I got from that site was Psalm 130.
4. Highland Harmony Singers--a group of singers in Scotland who aim to promote psalm singing.  I got their recordings from the website
--Any recordings that have the singers identified as "unknown" or something similar are also from the site.
5. Aberdeen FCC--found on the website of the Aberdeen Free Church of Scotland Continuing.  This page has a very useful list of audio files of psalm tunes; scroll down to the very bottom for sixteen very nice recordings of psalm singing.  And this page has two "sample tracks."
6. Niallags--these are psalms sung and recorded by Niall Maclennan and posted in this set on Soundcloud.
7. Connor Q--Connor Quigley has posted a number of psalm recordings on Soundcloud.  Many of these are from the Scottish Psalter; you can listen to them here.  Direct links are in the lists above.
8. EPC youth--The Brisbane youth group of the EPC (Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Australia) have recorded an album of psalms from the Scottish Psalter.  You can listen to the recordings on Soundcloud here.

If you know of other recordings that are a) from the 1650 Scottish Psalter, b) unaccompanied by instruments and c) free to download, please let me know and I'll add them to the list.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Recordings from the Scottish Psalter, Book 4, Psalms 90-106

Recordings from the Scottish Metrical Psalter (1650).  These recordings are sung a capella, and are free to download.

For more recordings, and to learn more about the people behind these recordings, click here.

In order from left to right, we have: the psalm, the tune, and the people/group singing.  Click on the psalm to be taken to the hosting site where you can listen and/or download the recording.

I've put an "R" next to the tunes that repeat a line, since I know that not everyone appreciates those (as my brother says, "If that line was meant to be repeated, it would be repeated in the Bible.").

The quality of these may vary.

Where there are multiple recordings per psalm or section of a psalm, I've tried to pick out my favorites to include in the playlist I listen to regularly.  The recordings in my playlist are marked with an asterisk *.

PsalmTuneWho's Singing?
*Psalm 90:8-10St. AgnesSanta Fe
*Psalm 90:13-17KilmarnockAberdeen FCC
*Psalm 91:1-6BelmontGlasgow Bible study
*Psalm 91:1-6SpohrNiallags
*Psalm 91:5-11ArtaxerxesEdinburgh FPs
*Psalm 92:1-5ContemplationNiallags
*Psalm 92:12-15HowardSanta Fe
*Psalm 93IrishAberdeen FCC
*Psalm 98:1-4HuddersfieldSanta Fe
*Psalm 99:5-9WarwickEdinburgh FPs
Psalm 100 (1st)Zion's Temple RHighland Harmony Singers
Psalm 100 (1st)Old 100thAberdeen FCC
Psalm 100 (1st)Old 100thNiallags
*Psalm 100 (1st)Old 100thSanta Fe
*Psalm 102:1-8 (2nd)FinnartNiallags
*Psalm 102:9-15 (2nd)HerongateNiallags
*Psalm 102:13-22 (2nd)Duke StreetHighland Harmony Singers
*Psalm 102:13-22 (2nd)Duke StreetSanta Fe
Psalm 102:13-22 (2nd)Waltonunknown
Psalm 102:16-22 (2nd)MarrelNiallags
Psalm 102:23-28 (2nd)Angels' SongNiallags
*Psalm 102:23-28 (2nd)HerefordHighland Harmony Singers
Psalm 102:23-28 (2nd)RetreatSanta Fe
*Psalm 103:1-4KilmarnockEdinburgh FPs
*Psalm 103:4-12KilmarnockGlasgow Bible study

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Recordings from the Scottish Psalter, Book 3, Psalms 73-89

Psalm recordings from the Scottish Metrical Psalter (1650).  These recordings are all sung a cappella, and are free to download.

For more recordings, and more information about the people behind these recordings, click here.

In order from left to right, we have: the psalm, the tune, and the people/group singing.  Click on the psalm to be taken to the hosting site where you can listen and/or download the recording.

I've put an "R" next to the tunes that repeat a line, since I know that not everyone appreciates those (as my brother says, "If that line was meant to be repeated, it would be repeated in the Bible.").

The quality of these may vary.

Where there are multiple recordings per psalm or section of a psalm, I've tried to pick out my favorites to include in the playlist I listen to regularly.  The recordings in my playlist are marked with an asterisk *.

PsalmTuneWho's Singing?
*Psalm 73:23-28WetherbyGlasgow Bible study
Psalm 73:23-28WetherbyNiallags
*Psalm 74:12-17ArgyleNiallags
*Psalm 76:1-7MartyrsConnorQ
*Psalm 80:1-4EvanSanta Fe
*Psalm 80:14-19MorvenNiallags
*Psalm 80:17-19Evan Aberdeen FCC
*Psalm 80:17-19MorvenSanta Fe
*Psalm 81:1-7BishopthorpeNiallags
*Psalm 84:7-12WiltshireSanta Fe
*Psalm 85:1-7NaomiAberdeen FCC
*Psalm 85:6-13NaomiHighland Harmony Singers
*Psalm 86:1-8AyrshireNiallags
Psalm 86:8-13Free ChurchEdinburgh FPs
*Psalm 86:8-13Moraviaunknown
*Psalm 86:14-17PalestrinaSanta Fe
Psalm 86:15-17PalestrinaEdinburgh FPs
Psalm 89:15-18, 52Glasgowunknown
*Psalm 89:15-18NewingtonHighland Harmony Singers
*Psalm 89:21-34PetershamCCRPC

Friday, September 17, 2010

Recordings from the Scottish Psalter: Book 2, Psalms 42-72

Links to recordings from the Scottish Metrical Psalter (1650).  These recordings are all sung a cappella and are free to download.

For more psalms, and more information about the people behind these recordings, click here.

In order from left to right, we have: the psalm, the tune, and the people/group singing.  Click on the psalm to be taken to the hosting site where you can listen and/or download the recording.

I've put an "R" next to the tunes that repeat a line, since I know that not everyone appreciates those (as my brother says, "If that line was meant to be repeated, it would be repeated in the Bible.").

The quality of these may vary.

Where there are multiple recordings per psalm or section of a psalm, I've tried to pick out my favorites to include in the playlist I listen to regularly.  The recordings in my playlist are marked with an asterisk *.

PsalmTuneWho's Singing?
*Psalm 42:1-5FarninghamSanta Fe
*Psalm 42:6-11GlenluceSanta Fe
*Psalm 43MartyrsNiallags
Psalm 43:3-5Invocation RCCRPC
*Psalm 44:1-8EvangelCCRPC
*Psalm 44:9-15Old 44thCCRPC
*Psalm 44:16-26BarrowCCRPC
*Psalm 45:1-6 1stArnoldSanta Fe
*Psalm 45:1-5 2ndGolden HillConnor Q
*Psalm 45:1-7 2ndNarenzaCCRPC
*Psalm 45:8-17 2ndLeominsterCCRPC
*Psalm 45:10-13 2ndMalanHighland Harmony Singers
Psalm 46:1-5StroudwaterFree Church
*Psalm 46:1-5StroudwaterConnor Q
*Psalm 46:7-11ColchesterSanta Fe
*Psalm 47ScarboroughConnor Q
*Psalm 48:1-5, 10-11OstendEPC youth
Psalm 48St. MagnusCCRPC
*Psalm 49:1-11WigtownCCRPC
*Psalm 49:12-20GalileeCCRPC
Psalm 50:1-4 (1st)MalanSanta Fe
*Psalm 50:1-6 (1st)Golden HillNiallags
*Psalm 50:5-8 (1st)Old 134thSanta Fe
*Psalm 51:1-10St. KildaCCRPC
*Psalm 51:7-13St. KildaHighland Harmony Singers
*Psalm 55:1-6Notting HillNiallags
*Psalm 55:7-15St. MaryNiallags
*Psalm 61SalzburgNiallags
*Psalm 65:1-5St. MatthewAberdeen FCC
Psalm 65:1-5DumfermlineFree Church
*Psalm 66:1-5BishopthorpeConnorQ
*Psalm 67GarelochsideFree Church
*Psalm 68:7-12WeymouthAberdeen FCC
*Psalm 69:13-18St. NeotSanta Fe
*Psalm 71:14-19StracathroNiallags
*Psalm 71:21-24SheffieldSanta Fe
*Psalm 72:1-8St. LawrenceSanta Fe
Psalm 72:17-19EffinghamAberdeen FCC
*Psalm 72:17-19EffinghamHighland Harmony Singers

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Recordings from the Scottish Psalter, Book 1, Psalms 1-41

Here is a list of psalm recordings from the first book of the psalms, i.e. psalms 1-41.

These recordings are all from the Scottish Metrical Psalter of 1650, are sung a cappella, and are free to download.

For more recordings, and for more information about the people who created these recordings, click here.

In order from left to right, we have: the psalm, the tune, and the people/group singing.  Click on the psalm to be taken to the hosting site where you can listen and/or download the recording.

I've put an "R" next to the tunes that repeat a line, since I know that not everyone appreciates those (as my brother says, "If that line was meant to be repeated, it would be repeated in the Bible.").

The quality of these may vary.

Where there are multiple recordings per psalm or section of a psalm, I've tried to pick out my favorites to include in the playlist I listen to regularly.  The recordings in my playlist are marked with an asterisk *.

PsalmTuneWho's Singing?
Psalm 1St. PeterCCRPC
Psalm 1Tallis Santa Fe
*Psalm 2WestminsterCCRPC
*Psalm 2:1-8YorkConnor Q
*Psalm 3EdenCCRPC
Psalm 4AbbeyCCRPC
*Psalm 4DunfermlineNiallags
*Psalm 5:1-7StracathroSanta Fe
*Psalm 5:8-12DenfieldCCRPC
Psalm 6FinnartConnorQ
*Psalm 6SoldauSanta Fe
*Psalm 7:1-8St. NicholasCCRPC
*Psalm 7:9-17St. CyrilCCRPC
*Psalm 8Land of RestNiallags
*Psalm 8WinchesterSanta Fe
*Psalm 9:1-11StroudwaterCCRPC
*Psalm 9:7-11StroudwaterAberdeen FCC
*Psalm 9:12-20ManchesterCCRPC
Psalm 10:1-4BurfordCCRPC
*Psalm 10:1-6GlenluceNiallags
*Psalm 10:5-12ComfortCCRPC
*Psalm 10:13-18BelmontCCRPC
Psalm 11SalisburyCCRPC
*Psalm 12KilsythCCRPC
*Psalm 13BallermaSanta Fe
Psalm 13CheshireCCRPC
*Psalm 13StornowayConnor Q
*Psalm 14BeatitudoCCRPC
*Psalm 15GrafenbergConnor Q
*Psalm 16St. LeonardCCRPC
*Psalm 17:1-6ArtaxerxesNiallags
*Psalm 17:1-7RestCCRPC
*Psalm 17:8-15PalestrinaCCRPC
Psalm 18:1-5LancasterCCRPC
*Psalm 18:6-11OstendCCRPC
*Psalm 18:12-19EvangelCCRPC
*Psalm 18:16-19St. MagnusSanta Fe
*Psalm 18:20-27BedfordCCRPC
*Psalm 18:28-35WarwickConnor Q
Psalm 18:28-37MainCCRPC
*Psalm 18:38-45BedfordCCRPC
*Psalm 18:46-50TivertonCCRPC
*Psalm 19:1-6CreditonSanta Fe
*Psalm 19:7-14St. AndrewCCRPC
*Psalm 20EdinburghCCRPC
*Psalm 21:1-6Free ChurchSanta Fe
Psalm 21:1-7ArnoldCCRPC
*Psalm 21:8-13St. BartholomewCCRPC
*Psalm 22:1-5DundeeSanta Fe
*Psalm 22:1-8BangorNiallags
*Psalm 22:1-10BangorCCRPC (octet)
Psalm 22:11-21NaomiCCRPC
*Psalm 22:14-20St. MarySanta Fe
*Psalm 22:22-26SheffieldSanta Fe
*Psalm 22:22-31PraetoriousCCRPC
*Psalm 22:23-26Old 22ndConnor Q
*Psalm 23Bays of HarrisConnor Q
Psalm 23Covenanters
Psalm 23CrimondCCRPC
Psalm 23CrimondHighland Harmony Singers
*Psalm 23St. Columba/ErinSanta Fe
Psalm 23St. Columba/ErinFree Church
*Psalm 23WiltshireNiallags
*Psalm 24:1-6SouthwellCCRPC
*Psalm 24:7-10St. AsaphCCRPC
Psalm 24:7-10St. Georges RHighland Harmony Singers

Psalm 25:1-5 (1st)FranconiaSanta Fe
*Psalm 25:1-7 (1st)DennisConnorQ
*Psalm 25:4-10 (1st)DennisHighland Harmony Singers
*Psalm 25:15-22 (1st)Golden HillSanta Fe
Psalm 25:1-7 (2nd)St. PaulCCRPC
Psalm 25:8-14 (2nd)St. AndrewCCRPC
Psalm 25:15-22 (2nd)St. NeotCCRPC

Psalm 26:1-6St. ThomasCCRPC
*Psalm 26:1-7St. ThomasConnor Q
*Psalm 26:7-12IconiumCCRPC
*Psalm 27:1-5BostonRPCNA*
Psalm 27:1-6DurhamCCRPC
*Psalm 27:7-10St. BotolphConnor Q
*Psalm 27:7-14FarrantCCRPC
*Psalm 28GloucesterCCRPC
*Psalm 29:1-6Old 29thCCRPC
*Psalm 29:7-11CoronaCCRPC
*Psalm 30:1-5St. MinverSanta Fe
*Psalm 30:1-7aIrishCCRPC
*Psalm 30:7b-12St. FulbertCCRPC
*Psalm 31:1-5ConsolationConnor Q
*Psalm 31:1-7GabrielEPC youth
*Psalm 31:1-8St. DavidCCRPC
*Psalm 31:9-18ConsolationCCRPC
*Psalm 31:19-24St.
Psalm 31:19-24TorwoodCCRPC
*Psalm 31:21-24St. LawrenceAberdeen FCC
Psalm 31:21-24St. LawrenceFree Church
*Psalm 32:1-6SalzburgCCRPC
*Psalm 32:7-11SpohrCCRPC
*Psalm 33:1-11ScarboroughCCRPC
*Psalm 33:8-12IrishConnor Q
*Psalm 33:12-22St. BartholemewCCRPC
*Psalm 34:1-10Perfect WayConnor Q
*Psalm 34:1-10StracathroCCRPC
Psalm 34:11-17KilmalcolmCCRPC
*Psalm 34:11-19StracathroConnorQ
Psalm 34:18-22St. MatthewCCRPC
*Psalm 34:19-22WiltshireConnor Q
*Psalm 35:1-8EvanNiallags
*Psalm 35:1-10MorvenCCRPC
*Psalm 35:11-16ElginCCRPC
*Psalm 35:17-23BangorCCRPC
*Psalm 35:24-28St. HughCCRPC
*Psalm 36:1-7BristolCCRPC
*Psalm 36:5-10London NewAberdeen FCC
*Psalm 36:5-12London NewNiallags
*Psalm 37:1-9FelixCCRPC
*Psalm 37:3-7DenfieldConnor Q
*Psalm 37:10-21St. FrancesCCRPC
*Psalm 37:22-28DownsCCRPC
*Psalm 37:29-34GraftonCCRPC
*Psalm 37:35-40StocktonCCRPC
*Psalm 38:1-9BoswellCCRPC
*Psalm 38:10-15DundeeCCRPC
*Psalm 38:16-22TorwoodCCRPC
*Psalm 39:1-6OrtonCCRPC
*Psalm 39:7-13DunlapscreekCCRPC
*Psalm 40:1-5AyrshireSanta Fe
Psalm 40:1-4BallermaConnor Q
Psalm 40:1-7BallermaCCRPC
*Psalm 40:5-9St. PaulSanta Fe congregation
*Psalm 40:8-17MoraviaCCRPC
*Psalm 41:1-6ResolutionCCRPC
*Psalm 41:7-13HumilityCCRPC

*In this recording, conference attendees are singing Psalm 27A from the Book of Psalms for Singing, but the text is the same as in the 1650 Scottish Psalter.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September 2010

As the weather begins to cool slightly, Texans are coming out of hibernation.  We've been spending more time outside, and we're not alone; when we go downtown on Saturdays, we find that the parks and jogging trails are beginning to fill up again (and parking spaces are harder to come by). 

One recent Saturday, when I went to pick up the boys, I found them (and their dad, of course) at the Miller Outdoor Theatre watching Bach's Brandenburg Concerto, played with period instruments.  We love the free performances at the Miller Theater, at least when they play classical.

The evenings are the best time to get out for a bike ride.  A few months ago, when the ex gave us this bike, I thought, "Oh dear, I'm not looking forward to teaching Elijah how to ride this."  But I needn't have worried; he taught himself within about fifteen minutes.
Noah's tricycle was a birthday present from Uncle Caleb and Aunt Leah.  I highly recommend these old-fashioned metal Radio Flyer trikes.  They are nice and sturdy, and big enough that they will last a child a long time.

It's funny, my boys are almost two and a half years apart, but people are always asking me "Are they twins?"  I guess it's because Noah is so tall for his age.  They are close enough to the same size that they are able to share most of their clothes.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where were you on 9/11?

September 11, 2001.  I was a student at Indiana University.  When I walked into my astronomy class that morning, I was a few minutes late, and the lecture was underway.  My astronomy class was held in one of those big lecture halls in Swain East, with the seats sloping steeply down from the back of the room, and a huge projection screen on the front wall.

As I took my seat, I saw a hastily handwritten notice projected onto the screen: "The Dean of Students has announced that classes will continue today as usual."  Well, why wouldn't they?  I wondered to myself.  During the rest of class, I speculated as to what could have prompted such an announcement.  I concluded that someone must have died, perhaps the president of IU, or Bobby Knight.

At the end of class, as everyone stood up and started collecting books and papers, one of the associate instructors plugged something in and a movie started to play on the front wall.  In the movie, skyscrapers were collapsing in slow motion in huge billowing clouds of flames and smoke.  That's impressive, I thought, but why are they playing a movie, here, now?

I grabbed the first passing student.  "What's going on?"  I asked.  "What's that?"  I gestured towards the screen at the front of the room.

"We've been attacked.  Some terrorists hijacked some planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center," he told me, shakily.  I looked back at the screen in shock.  (Just imagine, if you will, that the first time you heard about 9/11 was as you watched it happen in an IMAX theater.  That's how it felt.)  As I watched in horror, an airplane plunged into the side of a tower, then again, from another angle.  I felt a little dizzy (dizziness enhanced by the steep slope of the room).  It couldn't be real.

I left and walked around campus feeling disoriented.  The campus was strangely empty and quiet.  In the common areas on campus, usually packed with students studying, eating, or napping on the couches, there were only a few people, huddled around TVs on black carts that someone had wheeled out of storage, watching the news channels replaying the same horrifying video clips over and over again.  Ironically, it was a beautiful fall day, crisp and cool, the sun shining brilliantly.

Most of the people I saw looked dazed.  Some were crying.

That afternoon I talked to my friend, an international student from Bangladesh.  He was holed up in his room at his fraternity and frantically trying to reach a relative who worked in the twin towers [she turned out to be okay].  He mentioned matter-of-factly that he and other Desi friends would have to stay out of sight for a while.  I didn't get it.  "Why?"  I asked.  "Why do you think?" he replied.  "I mean, hello, look at me.  Brown skin?  Black hair?"

I thought he was being paranoid.  Surely no one would be so stupid as to assume, based on his appearance, that his sympathies lay with the terrorists.  Needless to say, I was being naive.  He told me about a Pakistani friend who wore a headscarf.  She had been harassed and threatened by a group of men who had shouted, among other things, "Go home."

As I think back over the days and months surrounding 9/11, one thing that stands out in my mind is how Americans came together after the tragedy.  I was really moved to read about how people lined up for blocks to donate blood, and how people from around the country volunteered to help in any way they could.  I felt that we were united in grieving 9/11.  I even felt (briefly) united with and proud of President Bush.  In this day and age, I think it's easy to feel that you have little in common with the people around you (and I'm sure we could discuss for ages why that's so) but after 9/11, for a short while, we were all Americans together. 

Soooo...tell me your story.  Where were you on 9/11?  What stands out in your mind as you remember that day and the weeks around it? 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Being FP

I came across this article on Cath's blog about Free Presbyterian cultural identity.  I found it quite interesting and thought I would share here, though of course I must add the caveat that this is FP culture as seen through the eyes of one Scottish FP, and perhaps other FPs might differ with a few points.  For instance, FPs in the US and Canada--and a growing handful in Scotland--don't share the antipathy towards homeschooling, and find the association of homeschooling with monasticism to be particularly baffling (one can only assume that the Scots are not actually familiar with how homeschooling families usually operate).  But I digress.  Here is the link:

1893 and all that

Skip to the next-to-last paragraph if you're in a hurry. :)

While I'm linking, here is Cath's brief history of the FP church. 


Edit:  I'm tagging this post with "homeschooling" since that's the direction the comment discussion has taken. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August Psalm Sing

On Saturday we had another psalm sing.  After lunch, we reviewed the two tunes we learned at our last psalm sing; so we sang Psalm 6 to Soldau, and Psalm 113 to St. Etheldreda.   Then we sang Psalm 1 to Tallis.  I won't post the ones we reviewed, as they sound pretty much like the recordings from last time; but here is Psalm 1 to Tallis.

You can hear little Carl singing along in this recording.  He's not even two years old yet (right?), but he knows Psalm 1 and can carry a tune. :)  I'm hoping that we can do Psalm 1 again some time when more children are here; it's so nice to hear children singing the Psalms.

Once again, if you'd like to download any of our psalm recordings to your own computer, they are available here:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Elijah Is Writing a Book

Elijah is writing a book.  While Elijah can read anything you put in front of him, he can not spell.  At all.  As you can imagine, this means that he requires quite a bit of assistance with writing a book.  When the scene below begins, we are halfway through the second chapter, which means I have been doing this for a. long. time.

Elijah: Mama, how do you spell "how"?
Me: H-O-W.
Elijah: what was that again?
Me: H-O-W.
Elijah: How do you spell "many"?
Me: M-A-N-Y.
Elijah: writes M-N-A-Y.
Me: Oh Elijah, that spells "mnay."  Erase the N and the A and switch them.
Elijah: Ohhhhhhhh.  *perplexed*  Why didn't you say so in the first place?
Me: *sigh*
Elijah: How do you spell "people"?
Me: P-E
Elijah *writes*: Okay, what else?
Me: O-P
Elijah: What else?  What else?
Me: *lost in thought*
Elijah: What else, Mama?  What else?
Me: What do you have so far again?
Elijah: P-E-O-P
Me: L-E.
Elijah: okay.  How do you spell "do"?
Me: D-O.
*a moment of blissful silence while Elijah spells "you" all by himself*
Elijah: How do you spell "want"?
Me: Um, how many chapters is this book going to have again?
Elijah: Four.
and this is the point where I start to think this is kind of funny, and head to the computer to write a blog post about it.  Which Elijah, of course, reads over my shoulder with a big grin on his face.  Oh, he wants me to tell you that the book's title is "Tass's Friend."  And both he and Noah are thrilled to see this picture on my computer screen:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Lined Out Singing, Primitive Baptist Style

A few weeks ago, Jesh and I were looking at psalm singing videos online, and came across this video.  These are some Primitive Baptists singing the hymn Amazing Grace, a capella, lined out with a precentor.

The people in this video are walking around shaking hands and greeting one another as they sing, which is kind of distracting, but you get the idea anyway.  Watch for the precentor who comes into view about six minutes in.

I recognize that this video will be entertaining to those who are used to hearing lined-out singing done Gaelic style--and I can't blame you for smiling when they sing "warsh" instead of "wash."  :)  But in my personal opinion, it's also kind of beautiful.  I think that music is almost always beautiful, and stirring, when performed from the heart by humble, ordinary people.  Even more so, of course, when it's the Word of God that is being sung (i.e. the Psalms of David).

Our next psalm sing, or psalmody class, or whatever you would like to call it, is this Saturday.  Lunch at noon, singing to follow; I'm looking forward to seeing at least a few of you there. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chewy Coconut Cookies

Usually, if I'm in the mood for cookies, I make chocolate chip cookies or molasses cookies or maybe oatmeal raisin cookies, or, if I'm feeling ambitious, chocolate crinkles.  But the other day I tried out this coconut cookie recipe, and they were so chewy and delicious that I will have to add them to my usual repertoire.

Chewy Coconut Cookies


2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cups flaked coconut

*The recipe didn't specify whether the coconut should be sweetened or not, but I used unsweetened, and the cookies were plenty sweet.  I know that unsweetened coconut can be harder to find, but if you live near here, Froberg's farm store carries 1/2 pound bags of unsweetened coconut for $1.50.*

Directions: Cream together the butter and sugars.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla until fluffy.  Gradually beat in the flour, then finally, stir in the coconut.

I used a cookie scoop, sorry I don't know what size but the balls were about 1 inch in diameter.  Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 13 or 14 minutes.

I made the recipe as written and they were quite good, but next time I will use 1/2 whole wheat flour and maybe add a little flax seed meal or oats or something.  I find that using whole grains enables me to eat lots of cookies without getting that nasty too-much-sugar feeling. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I like okra.  I like breaded-n-fried okra.  I like oven-roasted okra.  I like gumbo with okra.

And I really like growing okra in my garden.  I got off to a bad start when I let my okra seeds get moldy (long story).  I planted them anyway; half never sprouted, but the other half have been growing happily ever since, despite the fact that I totally ignore them.  It's 100 degrees outside and we haven't had much rain and our soil is like a brick, but the okra plants just soak up the sun and shake off the bugs and grow like weeds.

I love that I can run out to my little garden and come back with these

and I slice them with some onion and saute them with a little olive oil and end up with this


I wish I'd planted twice as much.  Or three times as much.  Maybe next year.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


You may have heard me complain, on my blog or off, about the amount of driving I do.  I grumble especially about being so far from church.  We are about twenty-five miles from church, which means a half-hour's drive each way, or two hours per Sabbath spent on the road.

So, I was humbled the other day when I read about a woman in Scotland, many years ago, who walked thirty miles, one way, to church.  Here is her story:
To one, at least, the Sabbath journey was nearly thirty miles...Leaving home about midnight on Saturday, she walked across the hills regularly in summer and often in winter...After the service on Sabbath she returned to her home, and was ready to join in the labour of the farm next morning.  On that condition alone would her father allow her to come to Killearnan [where services were held], being more anxious about the state of his croft than about the salvation of himself and of his family.
Now I've often thought that it would be nice to be able to walk to church, as a nice walk does wonders for clearing my mind and helping me to focus.  But my idea of a "nice walk" would be two or three miles, not thirty.

Another quote from the same book:
On Sabbath, they all meet in the house of God.  The Lord himself is in the midst of them; the word is rightly divided; hungry souls are fed with "the finest of the wheat;" some of "the whole" are wounded; and some of the wounded ones are healed.  The public service over, the people return to their homes; and by the way, they form into companies around some of the Lord's people, who are speaking of the sermon, and bringing again, before themselves and others, the precious lessons which it furnished. In the evening, district meetings are held...After prayer and praise, and the reading of a portion of Scripture, a certain number of the questions of the Shorter Catechism are asked and answered, and notes of the sermons heard during the day are repeated.  Time is allowed for family duties, and in many a household the incense of prayer and praise ascends from the family altar to God.  Such was an ordinary Ross-shire Sabbath in the good days of the Fathers.
The book, of course, is The Days of the Fathers in Ross-shire by Rev. John Kennedy.  You can read it online here.  I saw the second quote above on Mr. Myers' blog  and was inspired to hunt through our bookcases until I had found our own tattered volume of the book (printed in 1885).  It was excellent.

I had just finished reading a similar book which was also excellent (perhaps even better), Ministers and Men of the Far North by Rev. Alex Auld.  It is out of print, I'm afraid, though you might be able to get a copy through Mr. Reynolds' used book store, and you can read it online here.

I'm currently reading John G. Paton, Missionary to the New Hebrides, which I think I can safely recommend even though I'm only about halfway through it. :)  It's also available online, here.  Google Books is awesome.  Though I prefer to read from a real, live book rather than a screen, I do appreciate the fact that I can use Google Books to search within a book (it's how I re-located the two quotes above).

I like old biographies like the ones I've listed here.  Another one I'd like to read is The Life of John Kennedy, written by Rev. Alex Auld.  Do you have any others to recommend?