Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

‘Tis been a festive time for Conservative Cornerstones. May you all enjoy the rest of your year!

Check out the Conservative Cornerstones Christmas Message:

Do you want to hear Joshua Reynolds (me) sing? Look below! [My apologies for the poor sound quality.]

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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For Those Who Love the Spring

Just three days till Christmas, with hearts beating faster and expectations raising, I thought I would bring some memories of the season-to-come. As I write this post, I am looking out our large Living Room window to at least a foot of snow on the ground, with Christmas day right now forecasting at a high of 25 deg F. and a low of 6 deg F. Tis the season for snowfall!

Yet, I have always found it nice, especially in Michigan, to remember what springtime is like during the cold and harshness of winter. Don’t mistake me! I love winter for what it is and enjoy the snowfall. One of the reasons I do, though (and this is just one of the reasons), is because I can dream of springtime to come, and springtime would not be springtime without a winter to come before it (to at least some degree).

I hope you enjoy the spring videos below! I had nothing to do with the production of these videos, but I love the song of the birds and the rush of the rivers.

The last video below is particularly special because I spent the first eleven years of my life living in southern Indiana, and this video was recorded in southern Illinois. The nature sounds remind me of many a summer evening in Indiana!

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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RC Sproul has Entered Eternal Rest

Our beloved RC Sproul has passed from this world into the next, and has indeed met the holy God that he proclaimed to millions through the Word preached while he was on earth. What tribute could I give to this giant of the faith when so many have already spoken on his behalf?

I think that RC Sproul has been the most influential Christian in the Reformed faith since the Westminster assembly first drafted the Westminster Standards. If he were still here on this earth, he would undoubtedly immediately suggest that surely such great men such as Jonathan Edwards, Charles Hodge,  or J Gresham Machen would have to be placed before him. I could not begin to attempt to weigh such men against each other. What I do know is this: RC Sproul has definitely been the most influential contemporary theologian in my family’s understanding of what reformed teaching is, and even probably the most influential reformed theologian for myself in all of history. He was genuine, honest, and knowledgeable in doctrine and how to apply it, and he used the resources God had given to him well, not burying his talent in the ground, but producing many more talents to give back into the hands of his heavenly Father. May God raise up another man like RC Sproul to continue preaching in full strength and with similar zeal the truth and essence of reformed theology. I’m glad that Ligonier ministries is prepared to continue without their dear and faithful leader, and I also realize the difficult standard by which they must measure up to in his absence. God bless the Sproul family.

I could not end this note without also giving gratitude for RC’s optimistic eschatological teachings, as I am a Postmillennialist, and my father taught me much of what I know about the Olivet Discourse from RC Sproul’s sermons on it.

Let us pray that the reformed church is not hindered, thwarted, or caused to suffer in RC Sproul’s passing! The Word of the Lord endures forever.

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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RC Sproul and Lindsey Grahm: Latest from YouTube

Get the latest from my YouTube channel:

As I continue working on to the end of this year, one marketing venue I have been working to improve is my YouTube channel. It is still a little below professional quality, yet I have been cranking out several videos a week and probably have the quality about as good as it can get with my current camera. I plan to be switching tactics next semester and instead of creating six videos a week, create and release two videos a week. One will be less quality, and the other I will be implementing a new strategy to improve its quality. We’ll see where all that goes, but for now, I thought I would leave you with the last few videos that are hot off the presses!

 

This last video is very special to me now that our dear Rev. Dr. RC Sproul has passed from this life to be with His Holy Lord and Savior. When I created this video (it’s takes some time from filming to publication), I had no idea that within a few weeks, RC Sproul would die. I know his preaching has affected so many. The below text was a very small tribute I gave him in the comments section of a couple of the Ligonier Ministries YouTube channel videos:

I think that RC Sproul has been the most influential Christian in the Reformed faith since the Westminster assembly first drafted the Westminster Standards. He has definitely been the most influential contemporary theologian in my family’s understanding of what reformed teaching is. May God raise up another man like RC Sproul to continue preaching in full strength and with similar zeal the truth and essence of reformed theology. I’m glad that Ligonier ministries is prepared to continue without their dear and faithful leader, and I also realize the difficult standard by which they must measure up to in his absence. God bless the Sproul family.

I could not end this note without also giving gratitude for RC’s optimistic eschatological teachings, as I am a Postmillennialist, and my father taught me much of what I know about the Olivet Discourse from RC Sproul’s sermons on it.

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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Repairing a Sailing Ship

Treasure on the Southern Moor; Chapter 8: Repairs and a Rest; Pgs. 209-212

.     The cook had come out of the galley, and those aboard ship had sat down to eat. In the distance, they could see the boats at the shoreline, and the hired crew had all left to gain materials and more supplies. They would soon be coming back with loads to work with the ship.
.     “How long do you think the repairs will take?” asked Adrian as he lifted his wooden cup to his lips.
.     “Not long,” said Mr. Toller. “We should be out sailing in another few days.”
.     “And what land are we headed to next?” asked Jemmy Ducks.
.     “All depends for certain,” said Mr. Toller, “yet the Canary or Cape Verde Islands will probably be next on our way to where we are sailing.”
.     No one else said much as they looked out at the shore, with the ship swaying gently under them, turning around its anchorage. It was always a surprise over the next few days to see where it pointed in the morning after turning throughout the night.
.     After breakfast, the crew was soon busy afoot with pulling more canvas and rope out from below and hoisting yard and rigging and bringing their own tools out from the supplies to be ready when the Portuguese came. And before they were finished preparing, Captain Underwood was back with the first set of help to lend a hand, and he stayed aboard and let others depart with more of the ship’s boats to bring more hands aboard the Southern Moor.
.     Mr. Toller continued about his normal work to stay out of the way of those making repairs, and he inspected the chip log with Mr. Thrussell. Adrian and Adrianna could not be of much help either, as there was already a great many people aboard ship, and they remained in the captain’s cabin for the day, mending the mattresses and other items that had been torn or broken by the traitors. The main deck had become crowded, and only the doctor and captain could speak to the Portuguese as they were the only loyal ones aboard who knew their language.
.     “Do you think we will have to replace the crew with all Portuguese-speaking people?” asked Adrianna, pausing from her work for a moment as she looked out the stern windows of the captain’s cabin at the sunlight upon the waters. “I would think it would be hard to communicate with them.” As she spoke, she saw a fish splash from somewhere ahead in the waters and cause tiny ripples to flow out in circles.
.     “That is if we can replace the whole crew,” said Adrian. “We might just have to sail shorthanded. And we may run into storms on the way back.”
.     “Storms are such a nuisance,” said Adrianna, biting off a needleful of thread as she held her mattress in her lap. The slashes the pirates had given it ran up and down near the seam. “Was Mr. Northrup really a pirate?” she asked, wanting to turn the conversation away from bad weather. The prospect of more storms didn’t give her pleasant thoughts.
.     “Either that or very much near it,” said Adrian. “I heard Father once say that he knows of nearly every coin, and his former journeys that he has spoken of were never to any particular country. Father said he probably was pirating treasure along many sailing routes.”
.     “He was beastly,” said Adrianna, “telling us he had Father locked in irons and threatening to set fire to the ship. You’re the hero of the crew, Adrian, rushing upon him the way you did.”
.     “I only did it by accident,” Adrian admitted again, “when I slipped from the hatch above. But I say – Mr. Thrussell knows all there is to know about sword fighting, and I’m still sore from where his flat hit me.”
.     “I thought you said that it didn’t hurt much,” said Adrianna.
.     “Well, maybe a little more than I let on,” said Adrian, “but it was still wonderful. He says he will show me more later.”

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 212-214

You may purchase this book directly here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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Children’s Hour

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Swallow Tails

I lie in the hay,
And watch the way
The swallows fly out and in all day.
From the hay on the floor,
The live-long day,
I watch the way
They swoop in and out through the old barn door.

In their nests of clay,
I hear them say
Whatever they say to the little ones there.
They twitter and cheep,
For that is the way,
Whatever they say,
The swallows put their children – and me – to sleep.
~Tom Robinson

The Brown Thrush

There’s a merry brown thrush sitting up in the tree,
He’s singing to me! He’s singing to me!
And what does he say, little girl, little boy?
“Oh, the world’s running over with joy!
Don’t you hear? Don’t you see?
Hush! Look! In my tree,
I’m as happy as happy can be!”

And the brown thrush keeps singing, “A nest do you see,
And five eggs hid by me in the juniper tree?
Don’t meddle! Don’t touch, little girl, little boy,
Or the world will lose some of its joy!
Now I’m glad! Now I’m free!
And I always shall be,
If you never bring sorrow to me.”

So the merry brown thrush sings away in the tree,
To you and to me, to you and to me;
And he sings all the day, little girl, little boy,
“Oh, the world’s running over with joy!
But long it won’t be,
Don’t you know? Don’t you see?
Unless we’re as good as can be!”
~Lucy Larcorn

The Woodpecker

The woodpecker pecked out a little round hole
And made him a house in the telephone pole.
One day when I watched he poked out his head,
And he had on a hood and a collar of red.

When the streams of rain pour out of the sky,
And the sparkles of lightning go flashing by,
And the big, big wheels of thunder roll,
He can snuggle back in the telephone pole.
~Elizabeth Madox Roberts

The Night Will Never Stay

The night will never stay,
The night will still go by,
Though with a million stars
You pin it to the sky;

Though you bind it with the blowing wind
And buckle it with the moon,
The night will slip away
Like sorrow or a tune.
~Eleanor Farjeon

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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Snow Melting in the Park

The Williams House; Chapter 9: The First Hints of Spring; Pgs. 166-167

.     All the children bounded out of the bus the moment it parked. The ground was still covered with snow except for several snaking trails that had been cleared. But it wasn’t a very cold snow, and many trudged through it with the warm sun at their backs. Several whoops and shouts rang through the air in their delight. Then everyone stood and thought of what game they could play.
.     “We really can’t play any of our usual running games,” said Ann, “because there’s still so much snow on the ground.”
.     “And how slushy it is, too,” said Timothy as he took a step off the cleared concrete path into a snow bank. “I wonder why it hasn’t all melted.”
.     “It’s melting,” said Will, “but it will take a while to melt yet. And all the water will turn to ice during the nighttime.”
.     “I say,” said Ann, “isn’t this perfect tree tapping weather?”
.     “Yes,” said Lilly, “we’re going to start tomorrow; I heard Mum say so. We normally start sooner, but the long winter will probably throw everything off schedule.”
.     “Wait! I have an idea,” said Johnathon. “Why not try to fly a kite? We should have the makings for several in the Flying Carpet, and the breeze should be enough, don’t you think?”
.     “It’s only a slight breeze,” said Lilly, “but it might work.”
.     Will went back to the bus to carry out the makings, and he was put in charge of constructing them. Some of the other olders helped, with the younger girls playing on the path and looking at the process every now and then. Meanwhile, Mrs. Williams was reading a book as she paced the paths, looking back and forth from the landscape to the words on the pages in front of her. She could hear Johnathon shouting “Pull harder!” as she saw all the children running in the distance and trying to make a kite fly.
.     “I am,” said Timothy in earnest. “It’s not working.”
.     “Let me have a look,” said Will. “Perhaps I didn’t put it together right.” He tried a go, but all the kite did was flop around a little before skidding along the ground.
.     Several attempts were made without success, and Lilly was about to suggest giving up the idea and playing something else. Johnathon was just trying as she was speaking, and before she finished her sentence, a sudden gust of wind swept over the land.
.     “Run, run!” everyone shouted to Johnathon, and he ran with all his might, the kite flying up into the sky with a leap and a bound.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 168-170

Island Shopping

Treasure on the Southern Moor; Chapter 8: Repairs and a Rest; Pgs. 196-198

.     It was indeed warm. As they walked through the streets, the sun continued to beam down upon them, and the gentlemen were finally obliged to take off their outer coats. There seemed not a cloud in the sky from horizon to horizon, and the party was glad when they finally stepped into the shade under an overhang. It turned out to be none other than an entrance to a tea shop, with even English imported tea that they must have acquired from another merchant vessel. There was an English-speaking merchant there who could help them with their currency exchange.
.     “Excuse me,” began the captain to the merchant, “’tis a lovely tea shop.”
.     “Thank you, good sir,” said the merchant with only a slight Portuguese accent. “We sell the finest teas of China, and you couldn’t find better if you were in your own English shop back home.”
.     “Some green tea would do nicely,” said the captain, “though what we are really in need of are long-lasting foods for sailing. Our ship is a little under-provisioned at the moment. We will also need wood, though I’m certain we can find that further inland.”
.     “Yes,” said the merchant, “we have food shops, though it might be a little different to what you’re accustomed to. Look in the shop two buildings over, though you’ll have to go to more in provisioning that large vessel. It has been the talk of the town ever since its anchor has dropped only last evening, and I’ve already spoken to some who met you in the inn last night.”
.     A small crowd had formed around the sailors and crew, and the doctor was speaking to as many of them as he could in their own tongue, telling them who they were, where they had sailed from, and mentioning transporting cargo, though most of the people had already heard their story from those they had spoken with the night before. The doctor was of course wise enough to leave out anything about treasure or fortune.
.     “Excuse us, excuse us,” said the captain and chaplain as they tried to make their way through the crowd. Captain Underwood had to resort to using the broken bits of Portuguese he knew.
.     Not all of the crew had entered the shop, but the cook had, and as he was closest to the door, he was the first to leave it. He made his way toward the shop the tea owner had mentioned and was soon inside it. Several barrels and counters filled with all sorts of food aligned the walls and were spread out in rows. There were coconuts, other tree nuts, apples, clams (and other small sea creatures that could be eaten), fish – lots of fish – some fruits the cook couldn’t recognize, and a type of hard cake biscuit. There was also meat hanging from the ceiling and freshly baked bread and strings of onions and sacks of potatoes. Mr. Moore was disappointed not to find any cheese, though there was some cow’s milk, and he knew there must be a cheese shop somewhere close by. No one in the food shop spoke English, and so the cook had to wait for the captain and doctor to arrive before even discussing prices. When the others did arrive, there was a lot of discussion on what they could afford.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 198-200

You may purchase this book directly here at Xulon or here at Amazon

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

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Snow Melt

The Williams House; Chapter 9: The First Hints of Spring; Pgs.161-163

.     “Look!” cried Johnathon one morning as he gazed out the boys’ room window.
.     Will and Timothy started from bed, nearly jumping from their covers. “What is it, John,” said Will. He used the name John instead of Johnathon whenever he was shocked, irritated, or still bleary from sleep (and he was probably a mixture of all three at the moment).
.     “Don’t you see the water dripping from the roof,” said Johnathon. His satin pajamas were reflecting the bright beams of sunlight around the room. “And don’t you hear all the crackling and drizzling?”
.     Will and Timothy stumbled towards the window, blinking in the bright light. “Why,” said Will in wonder, “it’s melting. It’s all melting away!”
.     And so it was. Sunlight was beaming its rays of heat down on the snow in full force. There was not a cloud in the sky. Many of the icicles on the roof had broken off and shattered in a million pieces down below, and the ones still on the roof overhang were dripping water drops down through the air. The snow and ice on the ground seemed to be erupting with crackles and popping, many pools of water and slush spreading over the driveway.
.     “And listen to that,” said Will. “I haven’t heard the sound of a bird in several months.” There were only a few of them, chirping sporadically as they appeared to be relating their tales of their southern journeys. “Come along,” said Will, “let’s get dressed quickly and surprise the girls with the awakening spring.”
.     Johnathon went over to his day calendar on his nightstand and flipped the sheet, and it read the thirteenth of March. He then hurried over to his dresser and reached for his clothes.
.     Meanwhile, the girls had already wakened, and they were congregating in Lilly and Ann’s room, marveling at the shining brightness of the sun upon the land. When the boys entered their room, they found many of the girls pressing their hands against the glass to feel the warmth of the sun.
.     “It’s spring!” shouted Timothy.
.     “I know!” said Margaret. “Just listen to all the sounds!” She and Timothy started jumping around the room.
.     “It shouldn’t be long now before the frogs start croaking in the pond,” said Will, “though we still have some more cold days and nights ahead. The fingers of winter are just finally relinquishing their hold.”
.     Just then, a large icicle dropped from above the girls’ window and plummeted to the ground below, as if in response to Will’s statement. Everyone watched it stick fast into a melting snow bank. Then they looked straight out and around them. The trees still looked dead, and the land was still buried in white. Yet life was bursting within the wood and under the snow and in the air as the few birds continued to sweep through the sky. Sunlight continued to beam in vehemence, as if saying to the snow, “Go away, you cold wet sand, and don’t come back till next winter season.”
.     “Come along, everyone,” said Lilly at last. “The sooner we eat breakfast and do the morning chores, the sooner we may play outdoors before school.

Audio Continuation of Story; Pgs. 163-164

A Few Setbacks – Pushing Through!

Hello everyone,

So, you are probably wondering why I have not blogged in a week. I had a few setbacks, one of them being my main production computer crashing on me and having to fix the problems with it largely myself. Sorry for the delay!

As a quick update, I lost some of my draft for my coming book, but thankfully had some of it backed up, and because I always first write with pen and paper, it’s mostly just copy and revise from the hard copy that I have.

On YouTube, I am continuing to improve my channel. Below is my latest published work, though there are several more videos in the pipeline.

 

As far as my other websites are concerned, I plan to be publishing a few articles on them today, but do not worry! They will be posted here as well.

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Joshua Reynolds on Conservative Cornerstones – Author of Children’s Books, Young Adult, Historical Fiction / Family Stories – Finding Conservative Thought in Olde Books. Check out my Authoring Conservatism Post. Look up my two books, The Williams House and Treasure on the Southern Moor in my bookstore!

Subscribe to my email list and receive my free eBook, titled Rhymes for a Child’s Picnic Lunch, plus email updates, writing news, and more!