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Tiffany [userpic]

(no subject)

February 7th, 2010 (03:46 pm)

                                                                     

As mentioned in my user info, my journal is completely friends only. But I love to meet new people, so feel free to drop a comment if you would like me to friend you - I will most likely oblige you. =) However, the only guys I will be adding to my journal will probably be guys that I already know.

Premi sopra!

Tiffany [userpic]

My Christmas post from Xanga...a bit belated, now

January 1st, 2007 (09:09 am)




Christmas...to the world it is only a good feeling.  A warmth in the soul that only happens at Christmas-time - a time when all people, both "good" and "bad" are supposed to show each other peace and goodwill, simply because it is Christmas.  A time to sing about snow and joke about mistletoe and dream of sugarplums and Santa Claus.  Madly Christmas shopping...decorating the house...going to parties...singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "Jingle Bells"...for what purpose?  For a feeling?

Compared to the Christian's Christmas, it seems so vain...so empty...so meaningless.

Christmas.  To the Christian it is the beginning of our story.  It is the evidence of the plan of God for the ages.  And we can rejoice, for we know what it is that we celebrate.  Our Lord and God came to earth as a man, taking on the form of a servant, and made Himself of no reputation - for us.  The true Christmas story is so much more than just a sweet baby lying in a manger.  It is so deep and fathomless that we could spend our lives studying the ancient prophecies that were fulfilled in that one simple child, and never plumb the depths of its wonder and richness.  Behold the Child lying in the lowly, humble cradle of Bethlehem - and see His mother bending over him, His earthly father standing near...the animals of the stable in their stalls...and see the stars in the heavens - and the one star that shines as the heavenly herald of His birth.  The one star that only a few men were wise enough to see - and who were about to begin the long journey to come and find the Child, that they might worship Him.  And ponder the thought that He created them all.  The helpless babe lying in the manger - He was the Creator of His mother.  He chose her to be His mother in ages past - He formed her in the womb...and then, somehow, became her Child.  He created His earthly father - the only man in the world who had legal rights to the throne of Judah, but could not inherit them because the line of Judah was cursed.  But this Child was not his descendant - and so, as an adopted son, would have perfect legal rights to the throne.  All perfectly fitting with the prophecies written by His Own inspiration so many years before.

Here He is - the Christ-Child, sleeping in the lowly manger...come of His own will and by His own design, and He is come with a very specific purpose which none can turn Him from.  All of His life will be leading up to that one crowning, tragic event for which He came.  Calvary.  As He walks upon the earth He created, He will be despised and rejected of men - men whom He formed in the womb with His own hands.  He will permit them to beat Him - to press a crown of thorns into His head - to mock Him and jeer at Him - to spit upon Him - to try Him - to deem worthy of death the One Who gave them their breath and the very air that they breathe.  To reject the One man in Israel Who fulfilled every prophecy in the Old Testament concerning the Messiah, and left none unfulfilled.  The only One who could fulfill the confusing prophecies that the Messiah would be from Bethlehem, Egypt, and Nazareth.  He was born in Bethlehem - his parents fled with Him to Egypt - and came back to settle in Nazareth.  The only One.  The only Way, the only Truth, the only Life - come to earth in the flesh to dwell among us.

Oh, Lord of all the universe - I can not fathom why You would choose to suffer such humiliation for me.  Psalm 113 says of Thee, "Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high - who humbleth Himself to behold the things which are in heaven, and in the earth?"

You must humble yourself to even look upon the heavens - the heavens which take away the breath of these poor creatures on earth and which seem to us the height of glory - to Thee they are so small compared with the glory which is only thine.  You must humble yourself to even look.  And yet the Psalm does not end there.  It goes on to say, "He raiseth the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill..."  If You must humble yourself even to look upon the heavens, what a great humiliation to Thy majesty it must be to reach into the earth - into the very dunghill - and raise one of your poor creatures out of it.  And yet You do it without reluctance, because it is Thy will, and because You love us.  I can not fathom how you could love me.  There is nothing loveable in myself - for compared with Thy matchless righteousness the best thing I can do is naught compared with Thee - it is as filthy rags.  But You have chosen to love me.  Not because there was something in me that You needed - but because You desired it to be so.  Oh, Lord, Who is like unto Thee?  To think that as that holy infant lay in the manger, I was one of the reasons that He came.  To save a wretch like me.  I once was lost...but now am found.  Was blind...but now I see.

The Lord of all Creation not only humbled Himself to reach into the dust.  He became dust - like His own creatures, who are made from the dust of the earth - and came to be born in one of the lowliest places imaginable.  The King of Kings and Lord of glory...lying in a manger surrounded by the stench of the stable and the chill of night, wrapped in meager cloth, and possessing nothing, Who is Heir of all things.

Glory to the Lord - Most High.

This is not about silver bells and wonderlands and presents around the tree.  If those are all you think of when you think of Christmas, you have missed the purpose of it all entirely.  It is not about sentiment.  It is about the Savior.  It is not a cute story about a baby lying in a manger.  It is a true history of Emmanuel - God with us.  This is not a child's tale.  It is a thing so true, so astonishing, so holy, that in its face all the hustle and bustle of Christmas must quiet itself, ashamed, and kneel before the manger in silent awe in the presence of the High and Lofty One that Inhabiteth Eternity...lying in a manger.


Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six wingèd seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!


Tiffany [userpic]

Favor...

May 5th, 2006 (07:02 am)

I have a favor to ask of you all. Has anyone out there ever heard of ULSP (Ultimate Logging System Professional)? It's a very nice tracking system that you can use to track visitors to your Xanga. I would really like to have one - but there's just one problem. It's invitation only. :P Do any of you happen to have a ULSP, or do you know of anyone who might know of anyone (etceteras) who has a ULSP and could give me an invite? I'd appreciate it if you could just spread the word that I'm looking for an invitation to ULSP, and if there is someone who could give me an invite, send them to leave a comment on this post, and I'll give them my email address so they can send it to me. I'll screen the comments. Thank you! ;)

Tiffany [userpic]

(no subject)

January 18th, 2006 (10:35 am)

I love sunny days like this. Even if it's 30-something degrees outside - cold, sunny days are much better than cold, rainy days.

I have a feeling that this is going to be a random sort of post. I feel rambly today. ;)

Irish Breakfast tea is the best way to start the day off. And Lady Grey tea is lovely to have mid-morning. And "Tastes of Summer" tea is nice to have in the afternoon. And so is Earl Grey, or Darjheeling. So many teas, so little time. It would be easy for me to have far too many cups of tea each day, since I enjoy it so much - but so much caffeine couldn't be that healthy, so I try to limit my daily tea-intake. Still - I don't know this for certain, but I strongly suspect that even three cups of tea per day would be much less caffeine than most coffee-drinkers take in each morning. Coffee is definitely stronger than tea, anyway.

I'm working on transferring my favorite CDs onto my computer, so that I can listen to them as I work, and arrange the playlists as I'd like, and preserve the original, unscratched versions of my favorite works. A lot of my Van Cliburn CDs are becoming unavailable, even from Amazon - so if they get scratched, I can't replace them. So far, none of them have been scratched. But it's so easy to scratch CDs, it seems!

Today the Keepers class is going to be about etiquette. How to do a place-setting properly, different ways to fold napkins, and how to generally comport oneself like a lady. What's scary about this is that all of the girls are going to be watching me closely to see if I follow all the rules properly, myself. So I must be careful to comport myself as I tell them to comport themselves! This means no running through the church parking lot. Or clomping up the stairs like a horse. (This is actually harder to avoid than it would seem - especially when wearing backless shoes, as they tend to clomp of their own accord.) No interrupting. No plopping down in chairs. And etceteras.

I love manners, though. This should be fun to teach. I'm still thinking about getting some skits together, demonstrating the wrong way to act, and the right way. Such things always provide a great deal of amusement.

Seriously, I could use almost all of the skits the WILDS put on at the music conference to show the children how NOT to act, ever, under any circumstances whatsoever, no exceptions, no excuses accepted, period. Phew.

I have found some really fun napkin folds. One of my favorites is the rose fold - but it's a bit complicated to show the girls, I think. I also found instructions for folding a napkin into the shape of a heart, and it's pretty cute. That would be good for the Keepers' Valentines party in February.

There was something else I was going to say, but I can't remember what it was.

Oh, yes. We watched "National Treasure." Definitely a suspenseful, exciting movie. I guess there were several things that bothered me about it, but I just won't even start on those. I liked it better than most new movies I've seen - Nicolas Cage is definitely an excellent actor. And they did manage to make a rather incredible storyline seem almost believable. I've always liked mystery/suspenseful stories like that. Definitely intriguing. It kind of reminded me, in ways, of "Journey to the Center of the Earth," only it wasn't nearly as hokey, of course. Much better special effects. I was in suspense right up to the end, and even found myself (to my siblings' surprise) once begging a certain character not to do something which obviously would lead to disaster. I don't usually get that excited about movies, you'll understand. So, yes, I did enjoy it. But, as I said, I don't think I'll detail the things that disturbed me about it. At least, not yet. If you really want to know, ask me in person. Or you can email me, if you're someone like Noelle who won't be seeing me in person for a while. ;) Let me just say - I don't care what you do, the ends don't justify the means, if the means are sinful. (I suppose, of course, that if the means are not sinful, there won't really be any need to "justify" them, anyway.) And I'll stop there, for the time being.

Speaking of Noelle - *sigh* - I really, really miss Noelle and Erica!!! They simply must get their computer fixed so they can get back on. We can't even email each other. This is truly unbearable, you know. Someone fly up there and fix their computer. Please??? ;) We need them back! ;)

And now, back to etiquette planning. I need to review and make certain that I know the correct way to do a table setting, before teaching the girls. Did you know that, at the most formal dinners, the only proper way to fold the napkin is to fold it in the usual, rectangular shape, and place it to the left of the forks? No fancy folds whatsoever. How dull is that? I don't think I like formal dinners. Semi-formal will do, thank you. Then you can do nice napkin folds. And you probably get other liberties, too, but I'm not sure what they are.

But it doesn't much matter, since I'm not teaching the girls how to do formal table settings, anyway - that's not especially practical. I would at least like to make certain they know which spoons and forks go in which order, though - that's a bit more formal than what we usually do for family dinners, but it would be good to know, notwithstanding. I love that word: "notwithstanding." It's so delightfully old-fashioned and eloquent and poetical. English is simply marvelous.

All right - with that, I'm off. And as a random closing remark - if you haven't read anything by Dickens, yet, you really should, you know. I'm reading "David Copperfield" again, which is what made me think of saying that. But if you're going to read just one Dickens novel, you have to read "A Tale of Two Cities." That has to be one of the most amazing stories ever written. It remains one of the only books, ever, that has made me cry. I just don't usually cry when I read books, but I did over that one. Very moving and powerful.

Au revoir, readers.

Tiffany [userpic]

(no subject)

January 9th, 2006 (06:43 pm)
Tags:

Just written today - the first poem I've written since my grandfather passed away. I've been desperately longing to write another one, and I am so grateful for this! =)

My soul, no greater love
Could e’er be shown to thee!
No love so strong and pure,
So lovely and so free.
No joyous song can sing,
No heart with praises ring
The half of all you owe
To thy cross-laden King!

My soul, the Lord of all –
Creator of this sod,
Became a worm like thee
To save thy soul for God!
Remember all thy days,
And never cease to praise
The glorious King Who gave
His all for sin’s poor slaves!

You did not seek Him, no –
You did not wish to go
And follow all thy days
The One whose love you know!

You crucified, you cursed, denied,
You slew the Son,
Who for thee died!

He, lowly, died for thee
Upon the cursed tree.
Spurned and forsaken by
The ones He would set free!
Despite His noble birth,
He dwelt upon the earth,
And died to ransom thee,
And kings, and lowly serfs.

No heartache could I know
That would begin to show
Half of the heartache borne
By Christ who loved me so!

For greater love no man could cry
Than for his friends to
Be cursed and die.


Oh, soul, repent and turn,
For Christ thy Lord to yearn,
And long to know Him more
And with His passion burn!
Let nothing be between,
Upon His shoulders lean,
And trust Him yet to keep
That which He has made clean!

Yea, filthy soul, once black as night,
See, by His blood
Thou art made white!

Mourn, sinner, for thy wrong,
But Thy Lord is yet strong
To seek and save the lost,
The dying, wretched throng!
His purpose yet stands firm,
And never will He turn.
Though all the earth be moved,
His promise He’ll not spurn.

Trust, soldier, trust! And bow the knee
And humbly plead
Thy soul to burn!

No lightness give thy Lord –
Nor partly draw thy sword.
Can you not give thine all
For Christ, the great God’s Word?
Nay, soldier, turn and fight,
And evil put to flight.
Lean not unto thyself,
For Christ is all thy might!

Grieve not when you are weak,
But humbly, His grace seek,
And cast thy cares on Him
Who loves the soul that’s meek!

Why, weep, my soul?
“This is thy breath,
Thy life, thy death,
To follow Me!”


Oh, Christ, my soul returns,
My longing for Thee burns.
Give me the grace to stand
And never let me turn!
My course is magnified,
May Christ be glorified –
Let all my life be spent
For God, the crucified!

The crucified! Yet, soul, rejoice,
For by His choice
He rose again.

Oh, who am I? Oh, who am I,
That you should love
And die for me,
To set me free?

May all my life be Thine,
Ever in Thy love twined.
Let me still live for Thee,
For Christ, the Lord, is mine!
Let every breath I take,
And every move I make
Be for Thy glory, Lord,
For Christ’s most holy sake!

Unworthy wretch like me,
You died to pardon me!
You loved me more than I
Could e’er start to conceive.
Oh, break my hardened heart,
And never let me part
From any of Thy ways,
Or from Thy paths depart!

My loathsome soul, without Thee, dead
Seeks to rebel and rear its head.
Oh, Christ my Lord!
Oh, wash my soul, and make me clean,
And set me free.
Break, break my heart,
From all of self let me depart,
To be lost in Thee.


Shatter my selfish dreams,
The heart with sin that teems,
Oh, break myself and let
Me serve Thee, Christ my King!
Take every part, take every part
Out of my heart
That turns from Thee.

No softness, Lord, I pray,
Oh, let me never stray.
Break every hardened part,
That I may still obey!
Take everything – my brightest hopes,
My dearest dreams,
And make them Thee!

You took so much, my Lord,
My brightest hopes were poured
Before thy feet and broken
To make me love Thee more!

Yet, not enough, Lord,
Not enough! I must love more!
I must love more!

Break more, break more, my God!
Revive my heart again!
Let hardness, bitterness
Be lost in glorious gain.
I pray thee, Lord,
Let not my heart,
In one dark part,
Yet resist Thee.

Search out the depths, the blackest depths,
And bring to light all that could blight
My walk with Thee.

Let all who on me gaze
But turn away amazed,
Not by my worth but by
The presence of Thy grace!
It’s nought of I, yea, nought of I,
But all of Thee – Lord,
All of Thee!

Let all be lost but Thee.
Let not one part remain
That does not give the glory
Unto Thy matchless Name!
I owe so much! I owe so much!
Oh, let me not
Ungrateful be.

Oh, I do love Thee, Lord.
Yet not half as I should.
Lord, I would love Thee more!
Lord, turn me to Thy good!
Let all my will be lost
In Thine, and thine alone,
And let me humbly bow,
Broken, before Thy throne.

It is enough, it is enough!
My Lord, to hear
Thee say, “Well done!”

So let my life now be
Perfect, complete in Thee.
I wish to love Thee more,
And raise my voice to sing!
Let all I do be Thine,
To serve and magnify
Thy matchless name on earth,
Oh, Thou, My Lord Most High!
Thrice Holy One Thou art.
Thou Captain of my heart.
My life is Thine, oh, Lord,
Take captive every part!

Stay, enemies, and take your leave
I serve the King,
The Lord most High!

My Captain marches on.
I follow in the throng
Of blessed souls He has
Redeemed to praise Him long!
I shall forever serve
Forever magnify
My God Who died for me,
And waits for me on high.

Praise to the Lord of all
Who came to ransom me.
Who for my pardon died,
And rose to set me free.
Oh, glorious song!
What man of earth
Could e’er conceive
So great a birth?

Praise be unto His name,
Who is my Father, Lord,
And King, Who loveth me,
Oh, praise His matchless name!

Lo, let the earth rejoice in praise,
In glorious praise!
Let kings and serfs raise up their voice,
And for eternity rejoice,
Praise God, Jesus is raised!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow,
All blessings flow!
Oh, soul, sing praises to thy King,
And evermore His praises sing,
And search His ways to know!

I love Thee, love Thee, Lord, who died,
Oh, Lord who died!
Take all my life and let it be
From now, forever, lost in Thee.
May Christ be magnified!

------------------------

Self, counted naught.
Christ, counted all.
Life, counted Christ.
Naught but Christ!

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