Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Check! 1826 – 1877


I finished reading The Sections and the Civil War by Clarence B. Carson the day before yesterday. History is a complicated but fascinating subject. It is made of a long chain of interconnected decisions and events.

Have you ever wondered, “How did our nation get to be in the mess it’s in? Look to history. The answer might be an event that took place hundreds of years ago; it could be the speech given yesterday. Everything – both the good and the bad – has an impact on what we are as a nation today.

The years 1826 – 1877 were volatile years, and few eras have generated as much debate. Carson has provided a helpful guide through this troubling time in his 3rd volume of A Basic History of the United States.

Part of my assignment involved writing questions about the content of the book to assist my memory and prompt careful consideration as I read. A few of my questions included:

1. What did George Washington hope for the differing regions of the United States?

2. What view did the Jeffersonians hold about government projects?

3. What was the nullification controversy?

4. How did Americans view government support in the early 1800's, and how did they provide for the poor, orphaned, and disabled?

5. What were the North and South's differing views on state sovereignty, and how did immigration play into this?

6. How did Abraham Lincoln provoke a war while letting the blame fall to the South?

7. In what ways were the Confederate States superior to the North, and what were its faults?

8. Why was the North victorious despite larger casualty numbers?

9. Explain the shift to "Total War." Who engaged in this kind of warfare, and what was its goal?

10. While no provisions were provided within the Constitution for secession, nothing within the Constitution prohibited it. What act of retaliation did the North engage in that was unconstitutional and – when the issue was raised – rejected by the Constitutional Convention ?

11. Summarize the causes and effects of Reconstruction.

So, that is what I have been thinking about. If you want to know the answers to any of the above questions, read Clarence B. Carson's A Basic History of the United States: Volume 3. It is a fascinating study.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Birthday Cake
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I hope you feel how much we love and appreciate you.

You are the greatest Mom I could ever wish for.

Thank you for everything you do!
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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Humility: True Greatness

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)

I just finished reading Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney. It made me realize that pride has lost much of its shock value, and it had grown roots even deeper than I had imagined. We need to declare complete and total war against pride and realize that it isn’t a battle we can win on our own. Desiring humility isn’t enough. I need to actively and consistently look to God and acknowledge my complete dependence upon Him.

In C.J. Mahaney’s words, “Pride is when sinful human beings aspire to the status and position of God and refuse to acknowledge their dependence upon Him.”

I appreciated several things about Humility: True Greatness. A few things include:

1. C.J. Mahaney directs us to the supreme example of Jesus Christ. We are nothing in and of ourselves, and we should not compare ourselves with other people. Our significance must be measured next to the majesty and greatness of God. That is where true humility is found.

2. The author uses stories from his own life to help us laugh our way into understanding the principles of pride vs. humility. Stories about cream cheese and the tire fiasco (you need to read the book to understand) are funny, but they are carefully chosen tools to make the lessons memorable.

3. C.J. Mahaney doesn’t spend time on the appearance of pride, because God doesn’t care what we appear to be. He cares about what we are. He cares about our relationship with Him. I know it is often easier for me to rid myself of the appearance of pride than to dig down to the base of my pride and dig it out by its roots. Asking the Lord for His help and depending completely upon Him can make humility more than a makeup job that isn’t even skin deep.

4. The book provides practical tips to help in your battle against pride. This is not a set of rules set in stone. Rather, it is a list of suggestions that will bring you closer in your relationship with God. Included are:

a. Begin your day by acknowledging your dependence upon God and your need for God.
b. Begin your day expressing gratefulness to God.
c. Practice the spiritual disciplines – prayer, study of God’s Word, worship. Do this consistently each day and at the day’s outset, if possible.
d. At the end of the day, transfer the glory to God.
e. ...And many others!

Humility: True Greatness isn’t long, but it holds a lot of wisdom. I will keep it in easy reach for future encouragement.

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All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.


Isaiah 66:2

Monday, April 07, 2008

Music, Reading, and Quilting... my life


This is what my life looks like right now. God has blessed me with wonderful reading materials!

I am reading:
Deuteronomy and 1 Kings
The Sections and the Civil War by Clarence B. Carson
Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney
The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

I finished my Oklahoma Quilt (shown above) on March 31, so more pictures will follow!