Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Handel's Messiah

I have always been enthralled with this composition. It is a classical piece that is very well done that glorifies God through scripture selections. So I decided to do a little research to find out some fun facts about this magnificent piece.

The work was conceived and first performed for secular theatre during Lent or Easter.

Although Messiah deals with the New Testament story of Christ's life a majority of the texts used to tell the story were selected from the Old Testament prophetic books of Isaiah, as well as Hagaii, Malachi, and others.

Although Handel called his oratorio simply Messiah (without the "The"), the work is also widely but incorrectly referred to as The Messiah.

Messiah is Charles Jennen's Biblical libretto set to music.

In just 24 days, Messiah was complete.

Right up to the day of the premiere, Messiah was troubled by production difficulties and last-minute rearrangements of the score, and the Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Jonathan Swift, placed some pressure on the premiere and had it cancelled entirely for a period. He demanded that it be retitled A Sacred Oratorio and that revenue from the concert be promised to local hospitals for the mentally ill.

Handel conducted Messiah many times and, as was his custom, often altered the music to suit the needs of the singers and orchestra he had available to him for each performance. In consequence, no single version can be regarded as the "authentic" one.

In many parts of the world, it is the accepted practice for the audience to stand for the Hallelujah Chorus.
All of the above facts were found at

Vision Forum Sale!

Every year I always wait excitedly for this sale. Many times if I see something I want from Vision Forum I will wait till the end of the year to see if it goes on sale. If you are interested in really good deals on really good books be sure to check this out. Also if you go through my links here on my blog to purchase, you will be supporting this blog while buying the things you were going to buy anyway!

Here are some products that you might be especially interested in:

Lessons in Biblical Femininity and Grace (6 CDs)


Save $28.80 (40%)
Regular Price $72.00

Format: Audio CD
Product Number: 85760
Age Range: Great for the Entire Family

Mother and Home-Making Set (2 Books)


Save $20.00 (50%)
Regular Price $40.00

Product Number: 34800
Father & Daughter Retreat (Cass.)


Save $12.50 (50%)
Regular Price $25.00

Format: Audiocassette

Product Number: 37624
Age Range: Great for the Entire Family

So Much More


Save $7.00 (35%)
Regular Price $20.00

Authors: Anna Sophia Botkin and Elizabeth Botkin
Format: Hardback (333 pages)
Product Number: 57882

Monday, December 24, 2007

Great Last-Minute Christmas Gift Idea

Placek (Polish Christmas Bread)


Makes 3 loaves

  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 packages Rapid Rise dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter, plus more for bowl and pans
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups golden raisins


  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan until it reaches 110 degrees [I did this in the microwave]. Remove from heat; stir in yeast and 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar until completely dissolved. Let stand until foamy, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer yeast mixture to a stainless steel bowl. Add 2 cups flour and stir to combine. Spray a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and cover dough. Cover parchment with a kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, 30 minutes to 1 hour. [I didn't see the use of the parchment paper, it just took the top layer of dough and cost me more.]
  3. Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 1 1/2 sticks butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar, orange zest, eggs, and 2 cups flour.
  4. Change mixer attachment to a dough hook and add yeast mixture to mixer bowl. Mix together on low. With the mixer running, slowly add 2 cups flour and raisins. Butter a large bowl and add dough. Spray a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and cover dough. Let rise until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, use a fork to mix together remaining 2 cups flour, 1 stick butter, and 1 cup sugar until crumbly.
  6. Butter three 9-by-5-by-3-inch (8-cup) loaf pans and divide dough evenly between them; top each with crumbs. Spray a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray and cover dough; let rise until rounded over the top.
  7. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Transfer placek to oven and bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 1 hour in pan before removing. Store at room temperature, up to 1 week.
First published: December 2007 by Martha

I got the tags for homemade gifts from Sew Mama Sew blog.

More Chistmas Presents

I had so much fun making these gifts from some fleece scraps that a friend gave me. I made three sizes for my three baby cousins 3 and under. Great way to use up scraps from other fleece projects.

This one is for the three year old girl.
This one is for the 2 year old girl.

And this one is for the one year old boy.

To make the fringed scarves cut 2 strips of fleece of complementing colors and sew together down the center. Then cut fringes every inch on each side to the seam line. Next tie first fringes color 1 with color 2 on each side, then color 1 with color 1 and color 2 with color 2. Repeat across entire scarf alternating ties like above.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations Janaya!

To claim your prize please email me your home address and email address at BEFORE December 24th, 2007. I will pass it along to Vision Forum and they will ship you your copy of A League of Grateful Sons.

Thanks to everyone for participating!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I am in a hurry today but I have some exciting news. I am having a giveaway! Vision Forum has let me, one of their affiliates, to give away one of the above DVDs. If you want more information on it click here. To enter to win just leave a comment below before December 20th, 2007, and I will draw a name and post it on my blog the 21st. If you are the winner you will need to email me your email and home address by the 24th to receive it.

Contest Closed

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

STOP! Good News!

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
I Timothy 1:15

Think carefully of each of these statements and what they signify:

...Christ Jesus came into the world... save sinners...

...of whom I am chief.

Now put them together and you have the glorious message of the Gospel-- the good tidings of great joy.

God Bless You

Friday, December 07, 2007

Frugal Friday - Cheap Rentals

Crystal did her Frugal Friday post this week on Family night. This reminded me of what a great deal we have been able to find on movies for our family night.

We watch a movie nearly every Friday night (we sometimes play games instead). We used to get them from our library and pay $1 a piece for them, but now we have a $3/month subscription to Netflix (we signed up for their free trial then canceled it, then they sent us this offer). This has been a great blessing because there is such a huge selection that you can find nearly every movie ever made. You can also watch some online which has been nice for when we get a movie that we really didn't like. We have been able to find lots of Christian films, movies from classic authors such as Dickens and Austen, and new releases like Amazing Grace. It is much easier to find a clean movie this way then going to our local movie store or even our libraries not to mention much less expensive.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Verse of the Day

Deal with thy servant according unto thy mercy, and teach me thy statutes. I am thy servant; give me understanding, that I may know thy testimonies.
Psalm 119:124-125

Monday, December 03, 2007

Fill Thou My Life, O Lord, My God

Fill Thou my life, O Lord, my God,
In every part with praise,
That my whole being may proclaim
Thy being and Thy ways.
Not for the lip of praise alone,
Nor e'en the praising heart,
I ask, but for a life made up
Of praise in every part.

Praise in the common words I speak,
Life's common looks and tones,
In intercourse at hearth or board
With m y beloved ones,
Enduring wrong, reproach, or loss,
With sweet and stedfast will,
Loving and blessing those who hate,
Returning good for ill.

So shall each fear, each fret, each care,
Be turned into a song,
And every winding of the way
The echo shall prolong;
So shall no part of day or night
From sacredness be free,
But all my life, in every step,
Be fellowship with Thee.

--Rev. Horatius Bonar, 1866

Sung to the tune of I Sing the Mighty Power of God.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Marriage: Goal or Insentive?

As a young woman with the God given desire to marry I find that desire to be a good motivator to do certain things: like learn to be a good homemaker, learn to be submissive, and other good things. But if that desire ceases to be a side benefit and becomes a goal, I have made it an idol.

When anything in our lives, whether it is marriage or a position, becomes the reason we live we have replaced God with an idol. My desire to a godly woman should, first, be because I love my Savior and loving my Savior means keeping His commands. The fact that being a godly woman will also mean being a good helpmeet is a side benefit to my ultimate goal and desire.

Making marriage our life goal will not only make us idolaters, but also will make good little hypocrites. The godly man I desire to be my husband only sees the outward and judges by that, but God sees the heart. If I am trying to attract a husband I need only put on an outward show; if I am seeking God's approval I must have a heart righteousness that can only be through His Son.

But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things [the things God knows we need, not what we want] shall be added unto thee. Matthew 6:33

I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 3:14
May the Lord and His glory be our only goal in life and let our desire to marry be only if it is to His glory.