Thursday, September 30, 2010

Simply Morning Coffee

 "Our life is frittered away by detail.
Simplify, simplify."
~ Henry David Thoreau


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Prudence - A Word for Today

In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes of four Cardinal (pivotal) virtues: Prudence, Temperance, Justice and Fortitude.  This morning I read his thoughts on Prudence. (According to the old writers, there are seven virtues:  four Cardinal and three Theological)

Lewis defines prudence this way:  “Prudence means practical common sense, taking the trouble to think out what you are doing and what is likely to come of it.”  He explains that this means while we are to be teachable in a child like way, we are also to be as intelligent as possible.  “[God] wants a child’s heart but a grown-up’s head.” 

Modern Christian inspirational writers instruct us to live intentionally, but doesn’t this fall short of living prudently?  Intentionally simply means being deliberate while prudently goes a step beyond to suggest a use of good judgment and common sense.  I can be intentional in my gossip but I certainly would not be prudent in doing so.

 I like that word – prudence.  I think I’ll try to reintroduce that to my vocabulary - and to my decision making. I think that would be a very prudent thing to do!

pru·dent  (prood'nt)
1. Wise in handling practical matters; exercising good judgment or common sense.
2. Careful in regard to one's own interests; provident.
3. Careful about one's conduct; circumspect.

pru' dent·ly adv.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fall in our Townhome!

Some signs of fall around our townhome:

Jim knows how I love trees so he dug up this little maple for me earlier this summer. It is turning the prettiest shades of red right now.  I'll find a protected spot for it for the winter and hope to watch it grow again next summer.

My one little Cinderella Pumpkin is still on the vine growing in the petunia pot. Being a late bloomer, I doubt it will turn yellow but its carriage shape is easy to see. Next year I plan to intentionally plant some of these seeds in a pot - early enough to maybe have a jack-o-lantern  come October!

This is the extent of my fall harvest but I am enjoying it.
Hope you're enjoying Fall, too!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Second Annual "Just One" October Food Drive! - Minneapolis, Minnesota

This food drive will take place in the front yard of our son's home in Minneapolis!  He's counting on the light-rail riders - the ones who  park their cars up and down his street to donate to his drive.  His first collection last fall brought in numerous food donations as well as a small amount of cash.  He's hoping to do even better this year.  His drive is registered with (Name:  Just One Can) - and all donations will go to - Second Harvest Heartland.  (Funds can be donated securely online.)


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Morning Coffee

"Laughter [especially with a fresh cup of coffee] is an instant vacation."
-- Milton Berle


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Morning Coffee

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if possible, speak a few reasonable words."  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Any one of those, along with a cup of coffee, is a great way to begin a day!


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Flashback! 1963

On this day in 1963, The Beatles released "She Loves You" in the U.S.   Some of us, those of us of a certain age, can probably remember where we were when we first heard this new culture changing song!



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Last Letter

From a letter to a child about Narnia. This was written in October 1963 – only weeks before his death.
“Many thanks for your kind letter, and it was very good of you to write and tell me that you like my books; and what a very good letter you write for your age!

“If you continue to love Jesus, nothing much can go wrong with you, and I hope you may always do so. I’m so thankful that you realized the ‘hidden story’ in the Narnian books. It is odd, children nearly always do, grown ups hardly ever.

“I’m afraid the Narnian series has come to an end, and am sorry to tell you that you can expect no more.

"God bless you."

Yours, Jack
C.S. Lewis

Yours, Jack was a wonderful book and as I said earlier, I highly recommend it. It has whetted my appetite for more of his writings. So I am now off to Narnia to search for the “hidden story”! I can’t wait to see what adventures and secrets I encounter.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Morning Coffee - Thought for the Day

The trouble with nearly everybody who prays is that he says "Amen" and runs away before God has a chance to reply. Listening to God is far more important than giving Him your ideas.
~~ Frank Laubach


Monday, September 13, 2010

On Humility - C.S. Lewis

"May God's grace give you the necessary humility.  Try not to think - much less, speak - of their sins. One's own are a much more profitable theme!  And if, on consideration, one can find no faults on one's own side, then cry for mercy: for this must be a most dangerous delusion."
Yours, Jack
C.S. Lewis

I love how he puts things!  I believe I'll pour another cup of coffee and ponder my delusions.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Word to Remember about Forgetting - C.S. Lewis

“About forgetting things, Dr. Johnson said, ‘If, on leaving the company, a young man cannot remember where he has left his hat, it is nothing.  But when an old man forgets, everyone says, Ah, his memory is going.’  So with ourselves.  We have always been forgetting things; but now, when we do so, we attribute it to our age.  Why, it was years ago that, on finishing my work before lunch, I stopped myself only just in time from putting my cigarette-end into my spectacle case and throwing my spectacles into the fire!”
Yours, Jack
C.S. Lewis

I have copied this thought for future reference. It makes me feel so much better about my forgetting things.  I’m only doing what comes naturally; nothing more. (...ok, where was I?)


Patriot Day - September 11th

Today is Patriot Day. In 2002, then President George W. Bush proclaimed September 11 as Patriot Day in honor of the 2,993 who died in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon the year before.

Flags are flown at half-staff on this day.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

C.S. Lewis on Lilies and Wrinkles

30 October 1958
"I suppose living from day to day ('take no thought for the morrow') is precisely what we have to learn - though the Old Adam in me sometimes murmurs that if God wanted me to live like the lilies of the field, I wonder He didn't give me the same lack of nerves and imagination as they enjoy!  Or is that just the point, the precise purpose of this Divine paradox and audacity called Man - to do with a mind what other organisms do without it?

"As for wrinkles - pshaw! Why shouldn't we have wrinkles? Honorable insignia of long service in this warefare.  All well with us, in haste, with love.

Yours, Jack
C.S. Lewis


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Morning Coffee on the First Day of School

Effort, and
Trying your best
Each hour of the day,
Making new friends,
Being good as you can
Exciting discoveries,
Reading books with a friend."
- Boni Fulgham

Doesn't September always seems to be so full of promise?  It's amazing what a new pair of shoes and a fresh notebook can do for one's outlook. 

I believe I will have another cup of coffee, grab a brand new notebook and begin my day!


Monday, September 6, 2010

Yours, Jack on Sensitivity and Worry

I am nearing the end of the C.S. Lewis book of letters, Yours, Jack. What an interesting read it has been. While I have been well aware of Lewis and many of his books, I had never read one and really knew nothing of the man himself. Reading Yours, Jack changed that, offering a glimpse of a delightful, humble, philosophical, and down to earth fellow. His guidance has been invaluable to me!

From this mornings readings:

“When I have been really wicked and angry, and meant to be nasty, the other party never cared or even didn’t notice. On the other hand, when I have found out afterwards that I had deeply hurt someone, it had nearly always been quite unconscious on my part. (I loathe ‘sensitive” people who are ‘easily hurt’ by the way, don’t you? They are a social pest. Vanity is usually the real trouble)…”
[Good food for personal thought!]

“But it is seldom the present and the actual that is intolerable. Remember, one is given strength to bear what happens to one, but not the 100 and 1 different things that might happen.” [So easy to understand; so hard to live.]

Reading a few letters each day makes for a nice devotional.  I highly recommend this book!


Saturday, September 4, 2010


"The goldenrod is yellow
The corn is turning brown
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down."
- Childrens Song 


Friday, September 3, 2010

"Delighting the heart, better than gold, sweeter than honey"

As I begin to read The Book of Abraham by Marek Halter, I am struck by the beauty of the Jewish tradition. Their love of and devotion to God shows through in everything they do, from greeting strangers on the street to family conversations. There is no compartmentalizing God in their lives; God is their life.

So it was especially interesting to come upon this thought by C.S. Lewis written in a letter dated 1956. “…the characteristically Jewish feeling that the Law is not only obligatory but beautiful, ravishing: delighting the heart, better than gold, sweeter than honey.”

Oh that my Christian faith should feel the same; delighting the heart, better than gold, sweeter than honey.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Seeing our pattern emerge

"More generally, I feel the whole of one's youth to be immensely important and even of immense length.  The gradual reading of one's own life, seeing the pattern emerge, is a great illumination of our age.  And partly, I hope, getting freed from the past as past by apprehending it as structure."
C.S. Lewis, Yours, Jack

I love this idea that our past is not something to be overcome or put behind us.   Rather, it is the support and strength of who we are today - and who we will be tomorrow - as we see our "pattern emerge".