Monday, August 23, 2010

Grace Abigail Brown (Birthday 2010)

Little sister, grab my hand
Let us frolic o'er the sand

Friends we have always been
Forever and for always we will be kin

Life can't tear us apart if faithful we be
Love will only strengthen us if we drink the tea

Years may pass and trials come
But our love together shan't become numb

Sister + Friends, and we will never part
We'll sing and laugh and dance and through Life dart

God help us, God guide us and lead us across the way
If we follow Christ's advice, sorrow we shall never pay

Little sister, take my hand
Follow God all o'er the land

Without Trust we'll never succeed
Only to God's word we all must heed

Little sister, let us dance
For you never know - this might be our last chance

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Liberty Joanne Brown (Birthday 2010)

Little Liberty (our snickerdoodle) has reached a turning point in her life.  Her first year of life has come and gone.  Isn't she just the darlingest thing you ever did see? 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Only A Fool Will Edit His Own Writing

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction."  ~Proverbs 1:7

A long time ago, some very sound advice was given to my dad from a wise friend and mentor.  That same advice was passed along to me.  I like to think that I take after my daddy in many ways.

Only a fool will edit his own writing.

Even "big-shot" writers need an editor.  As my dad has taught me, everyone makes mistakes; we can't expect anyone to be perfect - even good writers.  We all need a little help.  Especially we who aren't as good as X.

I had to learn that lesson in a not-so-easy way.  Not that I consider myself better than any, I would write and edit my own stuff.  Needless to say, there were times when I could have given my articles a better shot.  Perhaps a little help?  Yeah, that's it.  I'd scribble my thoughts down on paper, type it up on the computer, paste it to my blog, and presto!  Completed.  That's me.  Impulsive.

Eventually, Daddy kindly but firmly told me that things needed to change.  And he was right!  Running my articles past Mom or Dad helps me see my mistakes so I can better them.  Besides, a second opinion is always a nice requirement.  Especially if one wants better success.  Honestly though, I could have responded to his kind rebuke with a prideful attitude and thought I knew better than my own papa. (Heaven forbid!)  Or I could have burst into tears and given up writing altogether, especially since I'm not perfect and can't do anything right!  (That's a laugh.  No one is and no one can.)  Emotional dramatic extreme is just too common for girls.  We can flood the house with tears over the silliest things.

Isn't life pretty precarious at times?  One minute we're dancing among the clouds...

...The next we feel lower than a worm.  I guess that's the way human beings were created.  Living in an imperfect world, in a flawed body, with a sinful heart, we must expect some things to seem like...unfair.  Others seem more blessed than we.  Others have different skills and gifts.  I can look around and find things that I'm at a disadvantage with compared to other people.  I can wish and cry and complain all I want, but I'm unique in my own way.  On the plain and unfashionable side maybe, but I can still live passionately for what I believe is right.

One thing in which we all measure up to is foolishness.  Remember the time you blurted out something incomprehensible and everybody just stared?  Or maybe when you tripped down a flight of stairs, walked into a wall, or stood awkwardly in the middle of a room and felt utterly lost, confused, and foolish?  We all do silly things, and we all feel uneasy at some point or another.  I myself used to be terribly shy.  I haven't conquered that obstacle completely, but I used to be much worse.  I would not initiate any conversation unless I was specifically engaged.  Even then I was short and to the point.  Some people may call that dull.  Yet no one knew the inner longing of wanting to be like so-and-so who was outgoing and a great conversationalist.  But I've always been that way.  Honestly, I've wished so many times that I could hold all of my conversations on paper.  Maybe that's unusual?  My pen has always been stronger than my tongue.

I'm not one who (literally) voices my opinions forcefully.  Although, if you were given a glimpse into my brain, the force of the thoughts might drive you hundreds of miles away.  I need drawn out somehow.  But just because I bottle everything up inside of me doesn't mean it’s the way I should be.  Too many times I want to say something and don't.  Life comes at each of us in different angles sometimes.

Rebuke can be given in many ways.  But no matter the tone of voice or display of feeling, we should always be as the wise son that Proverbs talks about, who "heareth his father's instruction."  (Proverbs 13:1)  "A scorner heareth not rebuke."

As human beings, we all want to "show-off" our goodness.  For "the way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that harkeneth unto counsel is wise." ~Proverbs 12:15.  Wouldn't life be fuller in every sense if we behaved in a wise manner?  Instead we are usually prone to foolishness.  Will we be as the wise man who built his house upon a rock; and the rains descended and the floods came, yet he remained fast and secure; or as the foolish man who built his house upon the sand, and was left homeless, destitute, and helpless after the rain and floods washed his house away into the sea?  Which choice will it be?

Remember, only a fool will edit his own writing.  Are we foolish enough to edit the pages of our lives, or are we wise enough to leave that to God?  Only He holds the future.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Each Day is an Awesome Display of God's Might and Power

 With Life comes each brand new day
Those powerful shows of God's might display

 The rocks and the hills and luxurious trees
All creation bows upon their bended knees
Vibrant flowers sniff heartily at the air
Not one single creature abides in its lair
Take a breath, feel the breeze
To all this beauty God holds the keys
The winds sing their praise with a mighty rushing sound
The Sea whispers colors as the waves upon the shore pound
Petals open shyly to peek at the world
Colors swirl brilliantly around a necklace pearled
Life is breathtaking - here's a whiff
Life is colorful - take a sniff
Love is beautiful, why not embrace it?
Love is vivacious, who can withstand it?
Why should troubles encompass our way
When all this glory does at our feet lay?
Shrug those shoulders, lighten the load
Look straight ahead, there's a bend in the road

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Their Love Grows Stronger With Each Passing Day

Upon the alter they both kneel,
their wedding vows they soon will seal.

Their troth and love are tightly bound,
with a small and tiny whispering sound.

Upon the Bride's cheeks the tears now glisten;
close together, side-by-side, their hearts to each other listen.

They covenant together for a life that will ne'er end;
their true love to others they will never lend.

Hands clasped together tightly,
they do not take their devotion lightly.

Praying, the minister bows his head,
for God to bless this couple in the years ahead.

Trials will come upon the way,
but love must rule heartily without delay.

Their dependence and trust God holds in His hand;
both hearts are knit together in an iron-clad band.

Now the years have flown away;
their love grows stronger with each passing day.

Children romp in the home built of love;
it was established by God in heaven above.

Man and Wife they both still be;
God's light they've shown for all to see.

Together they'll grow old and gray;
both hearts the love price they still will pay.

When wrinkles come, and bones begin to ache,
they'll love each other more for each one's dear sake.

Finally, when the old years have entered,
on  love they both will still be centered.

Fresh and young they both once were;
together they are united in God's love sure.

But as the young years die away,
their love still grows stronger will each passing day.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"Has America sold its very soul?"

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."  ~The Declaration of Independence.

Liberty is an essential ingredient in a prosperous nation.  Remove that ingredient, and the whole thing crumbles.  Tragically, that is what is happening in America today.

America was once a great nation.  I can see the old nation now: flags fluttering in the wind; proud militia men marching through the streets; families on their way to church; mothers and fathers raising their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; crowds roaming the streets without fear of molestation; men - courteous, kind, chivalrous, and masculine; women - feminine, noble, gracious, and compassionate; children - obedient, respectful, and dutiful; friends warm and understanding; complete strangers friendly and neighborly; God ruling over the hearts and minds of men; Liberty and Justice reigning under Christ's banner....does not your heart swell with pride?

Once America was great and glorious, but no more.

America has fallen (and will keep falling) because the people have forgotten to Whom their greatness is owed.  Will we stand by and watch our country dissolve into nothing, just something for the scavengers to steal away?  Is this our legacy we leave to our children?

“Let's face it.  America is on the decline - in almost every way.  Look around you when you visit a major city and you will see the vagrants huddled in alleyways.  Look at what passes for entertainment on television.  Look at the way our politicians in Washington disregard the law of the land to protect their own narrow, personal interests rather than those of the people.  Look at the threats on the horizon.  Do you feel confident that the recent crop of leadership can handle them?"  ~Joseph Farah in his book, Taking America Back.

America's problems are real.  We can't bury our heads in the sand and pretend like nothing is happening.  Disaster is happening, but what will we do to prevent it? 

“This is a time to challenge the status quo.  This is a time for agitation.  This is a time for hard work.  This is a time for risks."  ~Joseph Farah

To gain our independence from England's tyrant of a king and his unjust taxation, our forefathers risked everything - their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor.  Many brave men died for that one, sacred word: liberty.  Throughout the centuries, thousands upon millions of people have died in sacrifice for freedom.  What more can a people want than the freedom to live in sweet peace? 

What do other countries see when they look at America?  They see freedom.  Why is that?  America is (or was) different from all the other land, just like Israel of old was.  But Israel forgot the God of their fathers.  They grew proud, arrogant, and rebellious.  They began to serve other gods, yet still they believed they were the "chosen people of God."  Ironic?  America has tread the same path.  Although we've grown rich and fat, and turned our backs on God, we continue to think that this nation is invincible, untouchable...unsinkable.  The Titanic was believed to be absolutely unsinkable.  God Himself couldn't sink the ship, many boasted.  But the result was tragic.  Many passengers lost their lives in the cold depths of the Pacific Ocean.  Unsinkable?

Americans just don't seem to care that America is sinking.  Only a remnant seems to notice.  That is what Covenant Commission and Covenant Baptist Church is all about.  Some men of God like my daddy have realized that men, women, and children need to rise up against the flow to take America back.  Look around you and you'll notice that patriotic zeal no longer reigns in the hearts of men.  Americans no longer stand proudly for their country.  We've made the mess, but we don't want to clean it up.  The spilled milk has been rotting, souring, and stinking.  The fumes of wickedness have been rising into the sky. God smells the reeking odor, He sees the stinking fumes.  Do we think He nonchalantly dismisses our sin with a wave of His hand as something that will pass with time?  Certainly not!  His anger is kindled.  The millions of babies murdered cruelly, the innocent being taken captive, abuse, lust, idolatry, immorality, wantonness, adultery, dishonesty, theft, etc. have churned His stomach.  Do we think even for a moment that we will escape unsinged?

No matter how many times people are confronted with the truth, they won't listen.  Nothing is being done but by a handful of people who realize the danger and are truly worried.  Too soon America will explode into shambles if we don't quickly stomp out the fuse.  It's burning quickly faster than before. 

How's that for being the voice of doom?  Yes, yes, I know.  People are sick and tired of hearing trouble and woe.  So am I.  I don't like worrying about the future while on the brink of crisis.  But the trouble is here, and we must deal with it.  Now, more than ever, we need to be awakened from our slumbering.

"Has America sold its very soul?"  A very provoking question issued by Mr. Farah, author of WorldNet  Has America really given up every aspect of liberty?  Have we sold ourselves?

Benjamin Franklin said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."  That is exactly what we have done.  Most people today would rather be politically and socially correct that morally right.  Why was the Declaration of Independence written and signed in the first place?  The colonists of 1776 weren't trifling when they declared "no taxation without representation!"  They weren't joking when the Boston "Indians" dumped a shipload of tea crates into Boston Harbor.  They weren't just playing when they sacrificed their lives on the bloody battlefield, braving fear, hunger, the cold of winter, the heat of summer, low ammunition, no shelter, and no provisions.  They were standing up for their God-given rights - rights ordained in the Bible.

Who has what real courage takes?

"Courage is the strength or choice to begin a change.  Determination is the persistence to continue in that change."  ~Author Unknown

We think America has courage and determination?  Think again!  However, I don't want to blame every citizen.  May 31st was Memorial day, a day when America honors those men who have so bravely and gallantly given their lives for the good of their country.  But how many Americans truly cared?  Did they stop and think that perhaps those sacrifices might have been in vain because of our doing?  We're giving up every opportunity to return to the faith of our fathers.  Punishment is coming over the horizon, but still we don't turn away from wickedness.  What will it take?  Egypt's proud power wasn't humbled until the firstborn was slain in their very sight while they watched helplessly on the sideline.

Our government has become tyrannical and unjust.  Our Founding Fathers created the Constitution to define our rights but also for the control of the federal government.  Specific powers being granted to the feds, most was left in the hands of the people (within reason for a good government).  After all, "we the people" created the federal government, so it makes sense, does it not?  What are our senators and representatives for?  To represent the people, to uphold our rights, not their own corrupt desires and lust for power.

How would you define right from wrong?  As a Christian, we answer based upon the word of God.  Sin is the transgression or disobedience of God's law. (1 John 3:4)  But what would a non-Christian say?  They would base their opinions on what they think is right and wrong.  What may be murder to one man isn't necessarily to another.  That is their worldview.  Most people in America have the wrong set of values.  The Bible is no longer held as the supreme law of the land.  Every man does what is right in his own eyes. (Proverbs 21:2)

Look at government schools.  They are raising the children of the next generation.  Mothers no longer embrace their responsibility in the home, so daycare and government run schools raise the children, shape their thinking, and brainwash their young minds into a Marxist, socialist worldview.  No wonder the young people are in such a mess!  The corrupt government is molding them into little destructive explosives.  Once Marxists, communists, and socialists reached the women with their terrible lie, the home became in greater chaos.  The "liberated" women have torn the family circle apart by no longer being women.  Now the men are no longer men but weak, passive individuals who let everybody override them when they are supposed to be strong leaders!  And the children are no longer being raised by their parents.  Karl Marx, Margret Sanger, John Lenin...they all had it figured out.  Disrupt the family, a Bible-ordained institution, and you disrupt the whole of America.  Take God and prayer out of the schools, you shape the next generation.  Take the women out of the home, they will destroy the men, and no longer be the hand that rocks the cradle to rule the world.

Taking America Back is Joseph Farah's call to a revolution.  Revolution?  That's a scary thought.  But no, this is not a bloody revolution like that which shook the streets of France and ran red with the blood of the innocent.  It is not a massacre, of the common people rebelling in lust, greed, equality mob rule, and a desire for power.  Heaven save us all from such a day!  This revolution is one that "can save us from tyranny, despotism, and slavery."  This is a revolution of Christians taking a stand for the rights of the people.  We don't want slavery, we don't want tyranny, but let freedom be our cry!  We need to stop being lazy and complacent.  Battles can't be won from the couches.

We believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Peace is glorious only when men are free under God.  We can complain and cry all we want, but tears never softened any captor's hard and cruel heart.  Our jailer is hard-hearted and fierce, but he can be overcome by people who will stand on God's strength.

We can't rely on the government.  Do you truly believe they will ever change from their wicked ways?  Neither do I.  We the people must make the first move.  We belong in harmonious liberty under God.  We obey our Lord rather than men.

I'm not against government.  On the contrary.  The Bible even declares that good government is necessary for good life.  But I am most assuredly against corrupt government.  That is the type which gives any government a bad name.

Bluntly and honestly, America is socialistic.  There is no denial.  Our hearts should be crying out in anguish.  How could we have come so far?  Does not the impending judgment frighten the people enough to make them stop and think?  Does not disaster cause fear to rise in our hearts?  Does not our horrible wickedness repulse us?  We have become hard-hearted indeed.

Although the federal government is limited by the Constitution, we are no loner under that jurisdiction, their actions seem to say.  That is why they are meddling in thousands of affairs they have no authority sticking their hands into.  As William Penn said, "If we are not governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants."

America is ruled by tyrants.

"No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation." ~Gen. Douglas MacArthur

Gen. MacArthur understood that a people who will not uphold their freedom are not worthy of that blessing.  A nation cannot be great without liberty and morality.  Although Congress has become corrupt and vile, this is what they said back in 1787:  "Religion, morality, and knowledge are necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind."  (Could you imagine them saying that now?)  Are we happy?  Are we free?  Are we ruled by Jesus Christ?  The answers to those questions determine the type of nation we are.

This is tragic.

America is sinking, just like the Titanic.  (I know, I know, more "woe is us!" mentality.)  I'd rather talk about peace and prosperity as well.  But unless Americans heed the call, peace and prosperity will never come to pass.   Too soon we'll be like the other countries of the world - no longer a great and prosperous nation.  People from other lands will no longer look to us for safety and freedom, guidance and support.  They will see a desolate land full of immorality.  A Christian nation?  We're no better than the Amalekites, Canaanites, Moabites, Hittites, and every other wicked kingdom listed in the Old Testament.  We have sunk deep indeed.  Will we still continue to bury our heads in the sand?  We shouldn't be content any longer.  Our country has fallen.  Ask any person over the age of fifty, and they will tell you we have come far even from when they were young.  Oh what an age we live in!  It should be glorious, considering all the wealth we had once accumulated, how far technology has advanced, how much better life could be.  But we can take full control of this opportunity.  All isn't lost until we have given up all hope.  God is still on the throne; therefore we can still come out victorious!  I don't want a third-world country any more than the next person.  Now is the time to take America back...once and for all.

Will we heed the call?

"As is the religion, so is the nation."  ~Charles Galloway

"Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged."  ~Ronald Reagan

"Liberty cannot be established without morality, or morality without religion."  ~Alexis de Tocqueville

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."  ~George Washington

"Expect great things; attempt great things."  ~William Carey

"Two choices are set before a nation.  Either God is the ultimate authority or man is."  ~Gary DeMar

"Standing in the gap is more dangerous and troublesome than getting behind the hedge, for there you may be more secure and under the wind; but it's best to be where God looks for a man."  ~Abraham Cheare

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."  ~Edmund Burke

Covenant Commission now has a blogtalk radio, live on Tuesdays and Fridays at 12:00 to 1:00 Eastern time. Listen to James Brown Jr. as he deals with America's situation.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Freshness and Fullness of Life

16.  Another year.  A fresh sunrise.  A new horizon.  Vitality.  Freshness.  Life. What more could a young woman ask for?  Life is sweet and breathtaking at times, so much that I'm often surprised and thrilled.  Things may be falling apart in my eyes, but God always restores any disaster!  Right now is the time in which we live.   We cannot be living in the past, or the future, though we may want to.  Now is the time in which we live.  Isn't that wonderful?  Isn't life amazing?  I think so!  16 and full of exuberant joy!

Covenant Maiden has been lackadaisical for some time now.  You may have noticed poetry is almost the only thing I've kept up.  Thankfully, I do have a good reason for my aloofness.

July was a pretty full month for us, which is kind of unusual in its way.  Three weeks in a row was tidy-the-house and wash-behind-the-ears type of a week.  Can't begin to think of what a week that could possibly mean?  Visitors.  

Mushrooms come in all shapes and sizes, colors, and even personalities.  (Just like people!) Anyway, one cannot tell just what purpose a mushroom has.  Is it poisonous, or good to eat?  Can you you really tell by its outside?  What about a book and its cover? What about a smile or frown?  Does it say exactly what the heart does?  It is the inside that counts.  People cannot know one another until they feel with the heart.  Deep love is not experienced until two hearts unite with one passion.  True friends are not deeply appreciated unless hearts are truly kindred spirits.  Thankfully and amazingly, God has given us such friends.

As I said, July was full.  Full as in up-to-our-throats full.  Well, maybe not that full.  You know what I mean.

July was an unforgettable month.  Why?  For one, 16 was a major transformation. (No, I didn't really feel any different.  It's the thought that counts.)  Second, friends and family are wonderful and blessed gifts from heaven above sent to us in glorious love.  I have pictures to prove it.

First arrived Aunt Jennifer and Cousin Ezra! What jolly times we had, especially watching Pride and Prejudice, eating ice cream, and visiting Noah's Ark! Fabulous memories!

This little guy laughed at us!

 Our time with our aunt and cousin flew by amazingly fast, but what a store of happiness we held in our hearts!  Life truly is good.

Next week brought another aunt, uncle, and cousins! Another trip to Noah's Ark, lots of bubble joy, laughter, of course more pictures, etc. Once again, memorable times!

Such pretty smiles!

Bubble Joy!

The Three Stooges ;)

My little MJ =D


My hero of a daddy =)


Week Three: Farnum Family Fun!
A fellow photographer

Baseball time!

Perhaps it was a wee bit hot

Another fellow photographer!

A bashin' jammin' time!

Such a sweetie!

Showing off ;)

Such a lovely smile!

But enjoyable nonetheless!

Coffee and conversation at the breakfast table!

"Bang Bang!"

Thus ended a perfectly wonderful time...