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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Tennessee Memories - Frosty Winter Morning

Job 37:10 By the breath of God frost is given...

God breathed on the grass last night
And froze it stiff and white;
Then He sent the melting sun
To make it green and bright.

MES






Photos taken near Kingston, Tenn.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Cheap, Pretty, and Good - Gift Wrapping Ideas

 


Although gift bags are all the fashion these days and are great for reusing, some of us still like wrapped gifts upon occasion. :-) But wrapping paper can be expensive. Here are some ideas for making do or using less expensive methods.

Here are some ideas from "Sister in the Mid-West" at Simple Inspirations:

Cheap and Creative Gift Wrapping Paper

Among a number of good ideas, she shows an example of writing on paper to decorate it for gift warp. The image above is an example of this that I made some years back. I used my colored Sharpie markers to write "I love you!" in different colors on plain white tissue paper. This was for my husband for our anniversary one year. :-) As she points out in her blog post, you can save paper from packages and reuse paper grocery bags for this as well.

You could also make the wrapping part of the gift. 

Here are some suggestions:

Wrap a gift for a sewist or crafter in fabric for her to keep.

Wrap bridal shower gifts or a gift for a home maker in kitchen or tea towels.

Wrap a baby shower gift in a light weight fleece blanket.

Wrap a summer birthday gift in a beach towel.

Wrap a house warming gift in a fleece throw or table cloth.

Wrap a set of bed sheets in one of the pillow cases or an extra pillow case.

Wrap various home gifts in a pillow case.

Wrap a kid's birthday gift in a specialty pillow case.

Wrap books in a lap throw (for cozy reading). :-)

These gifts can be held closed with safety pins, ribbon, or low-tack tape that won't ruin the fabrics.

Repurpose jeans or other trousers to make gift bags too.


I have made gift bags using old jeans. I used ones that had the hem still intact, but you could use trimmed ratty ones as well. If the jeans are worn too much around the bottom edge try cutting off the hem and washing them to give a frayed edge to work with. Do this before cutting off the legs for the bags. The hem end will be the top edge of the bag.

To make the bags I just cut the bottoms of the legs off below the knee at whatever length I wanted. I turned the pant legs wrong side out and then sewed them shut along the cut edge. Be sure to use a stout needle size for this. Also, it may be difficult to get the machine to sew through the thickest side seam on the jeans. To avoid breaking a needle I used the wheel on the side and gently worked it by hand so that the needle went through slowly and firmly. You could also sew these up by hand if you don't have a sewing machine. Add decorations as you like. In the one in the photo I added a ribbon on one side to tie the bag shut and some "yo-yos" just to pretty it up a bit. You could also paint them with fabric paint.

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While I was looking for another photo I found this one of that white tissue gift wrap that I wrote on years ago. :-) 

Also, this basket came to me from my mother and she received it as a gift. The lady who gave it to her spray painted it blue, as I recall, to make it fresh. This is another way you can repurpose or re-gift a basket. A little paint can make something look quite new. 


Sunday, January 17, 2021

A Few Thoughts On Being A New Creature

 


2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 An elderly lady I knew years ago used to quote this and say, "If you aren't a new creature, you better find out why not." 

Being a new creature in Christ is a big deal. It means more than what we're often lead to believe in this era of Christianity when so many love to embrace the world and the old life.

In our natural way of thinking we make sense of things based on what our past experience has taught us - the environment we grew up in, the places we've lived, how we have interacted with people in various situations, how we have been treated ourselves, our family history (stories, traditions, legends), our culture, our religion, and our national tendencies. Many of these things have errors within them or are wrong altogether for one reason or another.

This is why becoming a new creature in Christ is so important. Old things are passed away, all things are become new. 

In the word of God we now have a source of knowledge, wisdom, and judgment outside of our own limited ideas and viewpoint. We have a way to redefine the things of life more accurately - by God's standard.

We have the Holy Spirit indwelling us who will guide us into all truth if we follow His leading. Jesus Christ said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." John 16:13-14 

We have a new family, a new and goodly heritage, and a new set of traditions and stories. We have more truth by which to live and the power to live through the Bible and the Holy Ghost. 

Ephesians 1:5-12 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

Speaking of the Israelites in the O.T. Paul wrote, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1 Corinthians 10:11 These are our stories now as well as Israel's. And because Abraham is our father in faith, we can call the godly ones our people, those who went before us. Galatians 3:7-8 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 

All the things that don't serve us in our walk with God and ministry to others we can now forget and leave behind as Paul did as well. Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 

Becoming a new creature in Christ is a miracle. It is a complete change of focus and viewpoint, but it's also a completely different way to look at the world, others, and ourselves. Nothing is based on the nebulous and uncertain foundation of human experience any more. It is based on the foundation of Jesus Christ, the one and only true foundation worth building upon. It is a completely new way of living.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

Are you a new creature in Christ, friend? Are the old things passed away? Are all things made new?
If you are a believer, are you living like one? Can others see that you have left the old behind and are walking in newness of life?

We are not meant to be "the same but better." We are meant to be completely new in Christ - delivered and separated from the old life that was on the road to destruction.

 2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Evening Song - Beyond God's Sunset


Psalm 113:3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised. 

Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 


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Friday, January 15, 2021

The Thousand Word Project - Winter Trees and Field


Psalm 96:12-13 Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. 





Photos taken near Kingston, Tenn.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Sermon - Be of Good Cheer

I was pondering what to post for the Sunday post today and had a couple vague ideas. Then I watched this message online today and was so encouraged and challenged that I decided to share it here. I hope it blesses and lifts you up in the Lord.


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