Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Brunch at my Sister's

The other day my sister hosted a birthday brunch for her oldest daughter, Olivia, who has recently turned two.  My sister is quite a good cook, so I was curious to see what she would serve for brunch.  As it turns out, she served a delicious breakfast casserole, along with fruit salad, muffins, coffee cake, and these delicious scones (plus, of course, juice and coffee).  The scones were so pretty, I had to take a picture. 

Above the table were these lovely poofy things (sorry, I don't know what you would call them) made of tissue paper.  This is the sort of thing that I would never think to do, but my sister has more of an eye for pretty things than I do, I think.

My boys are old enough now to be mostly independent at social gatherings, leaving me free to socialize--and hold babies. :)  Here is Caleb and Leah's youngest.  She is such a cheerful and good-natured baby.  This picture doesn't really capture her cuteness, but it's the best I could do.

And this is Calvin (Joseph and Carolyn's youngest) looking serious.  Look, his eyes match his shirt.

A few of the children (and one adult) eating lunch.  From left to right, Shona, Sarah, Jenna, Cameron, Elijah, and Noah.

Here is Julia (Calvin's big sister) reading a card to the birthday girl, Olivia.  I have a hard time getting good pictures of Olivia.  I have concluded that a lot of her cuteness is in the way she acts, and the way she talks, and you can't really capture that in a photo.  But you can still tell that she's cute. :) 

More pictures coming soon!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Psalm 145

We have a lot of old recordings of psalm singing, most of them congregational singing from when our church met at its old location on Highway 6.  A few years ago, Jesh went through a few of them to produce a set of 4 CDs of psalm singing; but until recently, the rest were scattered in various folders throughout the church's hard drive, mostly unidentified.

When I moved down and expressed an interest in psalm recordings, Jesh decided to put me to work.  He went through the church hard drive, located all the psalm recordings, and dumped them into one folder with the ambitious title "full psalter."  He then assigned me the task of identifying them all and replacing file names like "DS02983" with names like "032 v 1-5 St David."  Once they were all identified, I had to delete duplicates, and where there were multiple recordings of one section of the psalms, I had to pick out the best and remove the others to an "alternates" folder.

It took me a while, but when I was done, we had a nicely organized folder of (once the psalm sing recordings were added to the list) about two hundred recordings.  A lot of the recordings overlap a bit, and many of them are not of good quality, since the recorder was positioned to record the sermon, not the singing.  But the idea is that over time, we can produce more recordings to replace the poor ones, and to fill in the many gaps where we have no recordings at all.

Fast forward a few months: Jesh has decided that it is high time we make a new set of psalm CDs to replace the old set.  Since he is quite busy, of course the task has fallen to me.  First I went through all of the recordings and selected the ones of better quality, to be included in the CDs; and now I am having to edit most of the recordings I selected, to fix volume and other issues. 

This task has involved lots of poking around in the depths of the church hard drive.  In the process, I stumbled across a folder of sermons from an Edinburgh communion season that Jesh attended in 2007.  At the end of one was this recording of the Edinburgh congregation singing from Psalm 145.  I thought it was nice and decided to share it with you.  Enjoy!

Psalm 145:17-21 to Sheffield

Friday, June 17, 2011


Jesh recently went to Europe for a conference.  
The weekends before and after his conference, he spent in London,
where he did some sightseeing with a friend, and attended FP services.

He saw, among other things, Big Ben and the Westminster Palace.

Then he was off to Vienna, where, between conference meetings,
he wandered the streets

taking photos of rose gardens
and old cathedrals

and Mozart's grave.

I haven't traveled much myself, but someday I hope to.  It would be nice to make it to Canada again; and some day I would really like to visit Scotland and England to meet all the wonderful people that I've heard so much about.

Of course, being on a tight budget, I won't be traveling at all for quite some time.  But it's quite easy to open any number of mini-savings accounts through my online bank, so with a few clicks I opened an account entitled "travel."  Of course, since travel isn't high on the priorities list, I didn't have much of anything to put into the account; but it feels good to have made a beginning, anyway. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Psalm 147

An acquaintance in Florida e-mailed me to say that he had listened to a sermon by Rev. R. Macleod from the FP website, and that at the end you could hear the congregation singing from Psalm 147.  Perhaps, he suggested, I might be able to split the singing from the sermon, and post it online.  I thought this was a good idea. 

My brother Jesh (who knows more than I about this sort of thing) says that this file was likely compressed, so the technical quality of the recording is not great; but the singing is good (on pitch, etc.) and it's nice to have a recording of Psalm 147, which is one of my favorites.

Psalm 147:3-7, Huddersfield

3 Those that are broken in their heart,
and grieved in their minds,
He healeth, and their painful wounds
he tenderly up-binds.

4 He counts the number of the stars;
he names them every one.
5 Great is our Lord, and of great pow'r;
his wisdom search can none.

6 The Lord lifts up the meek; and casts
the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the Lord, and give him thanks;
on harp his praises sound.

Our communion season starts Thursday, so this week will be busy and I must say "goodbye" until next week.  Rev. Goldby will be the assisting minister at communion, D.V.  He and my parents are quite well acquainted, as he works with my dad, and until just recently was stationed in Israel; but I haven't met him myself.  So I am looking forward to meeting him and hearing him preach.  

Friday, June 3, 2011

Found It

Some time ago, I was looking for something in writing from the Free Presbyterian Church regarding their position on women's dress.  I couldn't find the FP position in print myself, and when I asked a couple of people for help, they couldn't find it either (though they did, to their credit, go to great lengths to try to find more information for me).

It wasn't until some time later that I happened across an article on the Holdfast blog entitled "Long Hair and Femininity," and at the end of it was this link to a resolution of the synod of 2003, as printed in the FP magazine.  I've copied and pasted it here:

At its most recent meeting, in May 2003, the Synod reaffirmed the Church's adherence to the Scriptural standard expressed in this Resolution originally passed in 1970:

There is evidence that the "permissiveness" of the age has influenced the Church. In particular this is the case in the dress of the women, and in the hair styles of both men and women.

The Word of God demands of women that they be dressed in modest apparel, and the Synod urge the women of the Church to give heed to this counsel. Not only does it require modesty of dress but also distinction in dress between the sexes. The practice of men and women wearing clothes which obliterates this distinction is quite contrary to God's Word and expressly declared to be an abomination to Him. "The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God" (Deut 22:5).

The Word of God clearly teaches that the hair of women should be long and the hair of men (and boys) short. Long and short are relatives. To argue from hence that the matter cannot be determined is to cast the most serious and solemn aspersion upon the Divine wisdom. "Doth not even nature itself teach you that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering" (1 Cor 11:14,15).

The Church must therefore condemn these practices as contrary to God's Word and direct her people to seek the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ to enable them to live unspotted in the world.

So there you have it.  I'm not sure what I was expecting exactly, but I was happy with the way this resolution was written, in that it does not compromise on important Biblical principles of modesty and distinction in dress; and also in that it is no more specific than the Bible regarding how exactly one should be feminine or masculine (the specific application of these principles being left up to the discretion of church government within a given culture/era).

Slightly off topic, but it would be nice if past resolutions of Synod were more accessible online.  I am sure that many of the resolutions are somewhere to be found in past issues of the FP magazine, which are indeed available online, but they aren't searchable, so it is quite difficult to find something specific when desired.