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Welcome! This blog is an extension of The Home Maker's Corner. Here I share thoughts, Bible studies, recipes, music, photography, art, home decor, crafts, and more. I hope you enjoy it!
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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hard Questions: I Gave My Life for Thee, What Hast Thou Given for Me?

 

These questions in the form of a poem seem appropriate as we head into a new year.  Let’s think about how we can live more intentionally for Jesus Christ this coming year.

I Gave My Life for Thee

I gave My life for thee,
My precious blood I shed,
That thou mightest ransomed be,
And quickened from the dead
I gave My life for thee,
What hast thou given for Me?

I spent long years for thee
In weariness and woe,
That  an eternity,
Of joy thou mightest know.
I spent long years for thee:
Hast thou spent one for Me?

My Father’s home of light,
My rainbow circled throne,
I left for earthly night,
For wanderings sad and lone;
I left, it all for thee,
Hast thou left aught for Me?

I suffered much for thee – 
More than thy tongue can tell,
Of bitterest agony –
To rescue thee from hell.
I suffered much for thee,
What canst thou bear for Me?

And I have brought to thee,
Down from My home above,
Salvation full and free,
My pardon and My love;
Great gifts I brought to thee,
What hast thou brought to Me?

Oh, let my life be given,
My years for Thee be spent;
World-fetters all be riven,
And joy with suffering blent:
To Thee my all I bring,
My Savior and my King!

- Frances Ridley Havergal

Mark 8:35  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

Galatians 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Be Not Anxious – A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

 

Be Not Anxious

I cannot change the yesterday when I distrusted Thee,
Though all my fears unfounded proved, and shame me now as then;
I cannot promise that my faith will last throughout the night,
Or that, when Thy tomorrow comes, I will not doubt again.

But grant, O faithful Lord and true, that I may trust Thee now,
Just now, each moment of each hour of this Thy present day;
That, looking backward, I may read the record of the past,
And, forward, see Thy steadfast word light all the future way.

With Memory to guard the rear and Faith to lead the van,
And all Thy tested promises like beacon lights to shine,
How can I dread that demon shape of anxious, faithless fear?
For he shall lose his power when I fully trust in Thine.

Annie Johnson Flint

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thoughts from the Past – Will A Man Rob God?

 

March 7, 2006
Will A Man Rob God?
[Edited]

There is a form of robbery, or rather attempted robbery, going on in the Lord's church and Christendom today which mostly goes unnoticed. There are many who preach doubt and question other believer's salvation, thus robbing them of their assurance of salvation. This is devilish, for Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10), and those who do this are serving his purposes, even if they don't realize it. But, there is another way that attempted robbery is going on.

Psalm 3:8 tells us, Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah. Salvation is the private property of God Almighty. No human can give it or remove it. It is personally ours in one sense, and yet it is not. It belongs to God from whence it came. He paid for it with His own blood, Acts 20:28.

David said, Psalm 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. While David obviously knew he was saved personally, yet he calls it "thy salvation". In a very real sense it belongs to the Lord. In fact, it is quite amazing how many times the scriptures speak of "thy salvation" in reference to God owning it! Look it up in Sword Searcher or your computer Bible program. I was surprised.

The last, and perhaps most significant reference to "thy salvation" is in Luke 2:30, For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, 31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; 32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel. Simeon was speaking here of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, whom he saw in the temple.

Acts 28:28 tells us ...that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. Note that it is God's salvation. It is also Christ.

Consider this verse - Revelation 7:10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. We might think, "Why would God need salvation? Why give that to Him?" Well, in the context of what we're considering here, salvation belongs to Him. Power belongs to Him also; so does might. Why not give Him salvation? It is His. He owns it. He was the only one that could ever pay for it!

Romans 10:8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

So, salvation - which belongs to the Lord - is applied to individuals by belief and confession of Jesus Christ. Who then decides who is saved and who is not? Only GOD. Can it be possible that a man or woman could take someone's salvation away? John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. It is God's salvation and eternal life, and He gives it. Ultimately it does not belong to the person the thieves are trying to rob! It belongs to God! So, in essence, they are trying to rob God of what is rightfully His!

They also try to rob Him of the right to apply it in accordance to His word. When they begin to make lists of works that are "necessary" to prove salvation, they are actually trying to take salvation into their own hands. Horrible thought! There isn't one of them I would trust to save me!

Just a few "requirements" man uses to rob God through questioning people’s salvation:

Church attendance
Standards (many, many different issues)
Denominational and/or church membership
Baptism
"Holy communion" 
Submission to man's authority (pastor, pope, bishop, etc.)
Acceptance of scholarship
Speaking in tongues
Observance of the Old Testament Law
Sabbath keeping

etc. ad nauseam.

When a man says, "If I can talk you out of your salvation, you weren't saved to begin with" he is a hireling and a thief. He is trying to steal what is not his to take, nor ours to lose! Sure, we might be weak enough to think we lost something we never earned in the first place – something that was given to us as a free gift. What does that prove? Our salvation belongs to God, and NO ONE can get it out of His hand. Romans 8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Glory to God!

Perhaps one reason some people indulge in this attempted thievery is because of the end of Psalm 3:8, ... thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah. It galls some people that God would bless folks who "aren't right with God" by their standards. It infuriates some. I'm not entirely sure, but I cannot help wondering if really these folks are mad at God and so they take it out on people by trying to rob them of the hope of their salvation. I suppose it could be. Nevertheless, the LORD gives salvation and He gives blessing according to His word. We need not fear man. Psalm 118:6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? Man cannot take our salvation – it belongs to God.

Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The End of the World – Bring It On!

 

So, today the world is supposed to end.  I haven’t heard specifics on how it is supposed to happen, but that’s OK.  All the kerfuffle reminds me of my favorite “comic strip.”  It was a single frame style actually and, as I recall it depicted a street corner scene.  In the back were a group of “doomsdayers” in long white robes with long white beards.  They were holding up placards with such warnings as, “The end of the world is coming!” “The world will end tomorrow!”  “Prepare for the end of the world!”  In the foreground is a decent looking fellow with the Holy Bible under his arm and he’s saying, “That’s OK.  We can get along without it.”

I love that. :-)  We CAN get along without it!

This old world has some beautiful spots.  It has a certain level of enjoyment and pleasantness.  But, there is so much sin, there is so much sorrow.  And, more than that, through faith in Jesus Christ I have so much more to look forward to, that really and truly I can get along without this old world!  How about you

2 Peter 3:10-13  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?  Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Regarding the Mayans -

First of all, if they had been so smart about predicting the future they would still be a nation today.   

Secondly:

Psalms 96:1-5  O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Getting the Bigger Picture – An Adventure In Gigapixels

 

Here is some of those amazing gigapixel photographs where you can zoom in and zoom in and zoom in… 

Mt. Everest

A 16 gigapixel photo of Machu Picchu.  This will save you a climb and shortness of breath. :-)

Paris at 26 gigapixels.

London at 80 gigapixels

Budapest at 70 gigapixels.  I had no idea that Budapest was nestled in such a wooded, hilly area.  It’s beautiful.

Dresden at 10 gigapixels

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hard Questions - What Is the “Right” Response to this Tragedy?

 

Friday I was really struggling with my reaction to the Sandy Hook massacre in Connecticut.  There was so much emotional shock and fervor being poured out by many, and yet I found myself moved and dismayed, but not as shocked and grief-stricken as I apparently “should have been”.  I felt like I was hardhearted and I was getting those “What’s wrong with me?” thoughts.  I also felt frustrated and like something was wrong with the whole picture.  Some of it I could vaguely discern, but it was still muddled in my mind.

Then the Lord used a friend’s post on Facebook to help clarify things for me…

Continue Reading.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Quick and Easy Recipes - Special Dietary Needs Recipe Finder

 

WHFoods: Over 100 Quick and Easy Recipes

Here is a recipe finder that allows you to add specific ingredients, exclude specific ingredients, and include a specific nutrient.  You can select more than one item in the first two columns by following their instructions.  By doing this, you can find quick recipes for special diet needs!  What a useful tool! 

And, the recipes are quick.  They say, “The majority of recipes we offer can be both prepared and cooked in 30 minutes or less, from start to finish.”

The recipes are also flexible.  They tell us, “We realize that if our recipes are going to fit your individual tastes, schedule and lifestyle, they can't just dictate exactly which ingredients you need and the exact amount of each one to use.”

If you have no special diet needs, you can also just browse through their recipes and select ones that interest you.  Or, if you like to cook healthy, nutritious meals and are just looking for a quick and easy recipe for a specific ingredient, this is a great way to locate something.

A friend of mine whose son is on a very specialized diet right now got this link from his doctor and passed it on.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Favorite Kitchen Things – Lettuce Spinner

 

When I was younger and foolisher (ahem) I thought my Grandma was a bit silly for liking her lettuce spinner so much.  I didn’t think there was anything wrong with our method, which was shaking the leaves or patting them with paper towel.  Well, it’s a strange, but with at least some things, the older you get the more you think like your mom – and your grandmothers.  Now, I think my lettuce spinner is great!  (I also love watermelon, but that’s off the subject.)

My local sister-in-law bought me this neat little salad spinner (pictured above) and I’ve learned to use and and enjoy it!  Sometimes I do forget to use it still (old habits die hard), but I have remembered a fair amount. 

I also figured out that it works for other things besides lettuce.  I’ve spun baby carrots and blueberries in it as well.  It’s really handy for making smallish fruits and veggies less drippy!  And, the removable basket is useful for rinsing small vegetables and fruit under the faucet, then putting it in the spinner to spin. For something that just needs a surface rinse it works as a colander.

Another cool thing about it?  I can store my lettuce right in the container in the fridge and it stays nice and fresh!  I do drain out the water from the bottom if there’s an excessive amount, but then I just pop the basket holding the lettuce back in and put the lid on and it’s ready for the fridge.

Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I also don’t always really wash it after I use it.  I will if I’ve used it to store lettuce for awhile, but if it’s just a short job I usually rinse it and put it in the drainer.  My reasoning is that we’re going to eat the fresh carrots or lettuce or berries just the way they came out of the spinner, so why is the spinner “dirty”?  I only rinse and drain if it’s visibly dirty or been storing something for awhile. :-)  Easy peasy.

(Yeah, I can hear one of my local friends now asking me to please wash the lettuce spinner before they come to dinner if we’re having salad. Haha.)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hard Questions – Have You Done What You Could?

 

I was going through some of my photos when I came across  a couple pictures that made me think – again.

My husband and I were walking on a riverside walkway in North Carolina with some of his family the day we found these notes.  I was touched and blessed to see that some child with a zeal for lost souls had put these notes (at least one had a tract with it also) on benches along the walk.  The printing was not perfect, the syntax was not perfect, but the spirit of the thing – how precious it must be in God’s sight!  Whoever this young boy or girl was, they were using what skill they had to do what they could for the Lord Jesus.

Do you remember this story from the Bible?  Mark 14:3-9  And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.  And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

I sometimes get frustrated about the energy and concern that I see Christians put into things like rescuing dogs and cats, fighting genetically modified foods, “saving” America, supporting “our” troops, and righting numerous great wrongs in the world.  It isn’t because there isn’t a point to some of these needs, because there is.  For example, we are reminded to “remember the poor” in Galatians 2:10.  And, “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast…,” Proverbs 12:10.  But, sometimes all these earthly good deeds are pursued at the expense of the heavenly good deeds – glorifying the Lord Jesus and rescuing precious souls from eternal damnation.  What good does it do to rescue a child from abortion or a girl from a slave brothel and then not give them the Gospel of Jesus Christ? (That one qualifies as a hard question!)  What good is it if we give to the poor and take care of hurt animals but don’t spend time worshipping the Lord Jesus Himself? (And, I don’t mean just “going to church”.  To many people think that warming a pew for a couple hours a week qualifies as doing what they “should” for God.)

1 Corinthians 13:3 says,  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.  This is another consideration.  Charity is an ability all believers can and should cultivate.

I know some of us sometimes we feel like we don’t have a lot to work with.  Maybe you are “stuck” at home for days on end.  Maybe you struggle with some physical or emotional disability that makes it hard for you.  Maybe you feel like your skills are small.  Maybe you are financially limited for one reason or another.  But, what are you doing with what you have that you can use?

Look at this video of these people who literally live on a landfill.

Most of us are not in this position I’d dare say!  Yet, see what amazing musical instruments these people have created from other people’s garbage!  Do you really and truly have nothing to work with for the Lord?  I don’t think any of us could honestly and truly say that.  I know I fail often to use the tools that I could as efficiently as I could or as wisely as I could.  I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

Martha Snell Nickolson who was bed ridden and wracked with pain for years wrote this:

Handicapped?

How handicapped, how bound are we
When Christ was bound on Calvary?
He could not move a hand nor foot,
And He was wracked with anguish, but
He gave Himself to earnest prayer
For those whose weight of sins He bare.
"Father, forgive, they know not what they do."

O child of God, say not,
"I am too handicapped, too bound,
Too busy, and I have not found
A service I can do for Him."
O Shame! Let us, with eyes grown dim,
Look back to Calvary.
Bound helpless there,
The suffering Saviour gave himself to prayer!

At the very least, we can pray.  Or is that “the least”?  James 5:16  …The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

It is easy to imagine that our small contribution in the work of the Lord is not much and not worth a lot in the big picture.  But, one of the great things about our God is that nothing is small with Him.  Consider the attention He gave to the construction of snowflakes, of DNA, of atoms, and more.  We should not think that what we have to offer in His service is too small or useless.  He has a purpose and use for every life that He sustains!

When the Lord appeared unto Moses in the burning bush to call Moses to go to the Hebrew people, Moses did not believe that the people would listen to him. 

Exodus 4:1-4  And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

Moses’ rod was the tool of his occupation as a shepherd.  It was not some special thing nor talent, it was a common everyday thing that he used to work.  Yet, under the power and enabling of the Lord God Almighty, it became something by which he could prove that the Lord had appeared unto him.

Now, I’m not anticipating having any of our common tools turn into snakes. :-)  It’s the Jews that require a sign anyway, 1 Cor. 1:22.  But, what are the tools that we have – the common, everyday things that we use in our daily work – that could be used to the glory of God?  With His enabling power not just the common things, but even the things humanly considered to be “trash” can be transformed into something for His glory.

One young lady I had the privilege to meet had almost nothing to use but her stunning smile, and yet she used that for the glory of God.  (See Violet’s Story.)

Think of that child who used his/her “poor” writing skills and a pencil for Jesus.  Think of those folks who literally used the garbage and cast-off junk of others to make beautiful music.  Perhaps it is a bed of anguish as with Martha Nicholson.  Perhaps it is “just” a smile as with “Violet”.  What are you using for the Lord?  What are you overlooking as “too insignificant” to be of use?  This is something that we all need to consider.  One of the greatest things that could be said of us is that we did what we could!

1 Peter 4:10-11  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Random Day

 

Since the The Simple Woman’s Day Book post was fun and one reader especially liked it, I thought I might try doing more in that vein.  I took some ideas from others and mixed them with some of my own.  I may keep on doing something like this from time to time.  Hope you enjoy it. :-)

This Morning I like the…
Smell of…fresh air.
Sound of…birds singing outside our living room.
Taste of…a banana, mixed berry, yogurt smoothie.
Sight of…sunshine.
Feel of…a jacket (Yes, it’s actually cool enough to wear a jacket inside this morning, though our weather this December has been unseasonably warm.)

Good Things about Today:

My husband has a job, and he was able to get to it (our own car is in for repairs, so we are borrowing my brother’s.)

I have family nearby whom I hope to visit with later.

Things Already Accomplished Today:

Made a banana, berry, yogurt smoothie. (Bet you didn’t see that one coming.) ;-)  Also fried an egg.

Entered some fabric giveaways online and also discovered some neat quilting blogs.

Let the cat out and petted her briefly.  (She was in one of her weird moods.)

Started working on the laundry – again.

Had my special time with Lord while doing my light therapy.

Created this blog post. :-)

Things that Need to Be Done – Hopefully Today:

Process and can the green enchilada sauce that is in the fridge and freezer.

Dust the house.

Random Photo from My World:

A batch of green tomato enchilada sauce before it was cooked.  Hopefully I’ll get the recipe posted for you all soon.

Quote for Today:

“You’re never safe from surprise till your dead.” – Irene Isenhart

Verse for Today:

Psalms 68:9  Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.

 

The Thousand Word Project - By the breath of God frost is given…

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Looking for The Lord Himself

 

A friend of mine expressed her concern recently about how focused many Christians are on the approaching time of great tribulation (also called Jacob’s Trouble, Jer. 30:7).  I know what she means.  It is disconcerting to hear believers being preoccupied with all the terror and trouble while totally losing focus of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  It’s also unsettling to hear Americans talk as if the fall of America must signify the beginning of the tribulation and end times.  There is no guarantee that this will be so.  America may fall years before the tribulation starts.  Or it may fall after our gathering unto Christ has already occurred.  We don’t know.

But, having said that, there is one thing I firmly believe and that is that we should be looking for Jesus Christ – not the fall of the U.S., not the tribulation, not the man of sin (2 Thess. 2:3), not the end of the American dream, not a great economic crash, not….well, you get the idea.  While I think it is good to look forward to the many promised blessings that Christ will bring with Him and cause to happen, at the same time I agree with the following poem that we should be looking for the Lord Himself.  It has been said that the gift without the giver is bare, and in this case I feel this is true.  Without the person of Jesus Christ Himself our hope of the future would be bare.  It is He Himself that is the embodiment of all good – past, present and future!  Let us keep our eyes on Him!

The Lord Himself

It is not for a sign we are watching...
For wonders above and below,
The pouring of vials of judgment,
The sounding of trumpets of woe;

It is not for a Day we are looking,
Not even the time yet to be
When the earth shall be filled with God's glory
As the waters cover the sea;

It is not for a King we are longing
To make the world-kingdoms His own;
It is not for a Judge who shall summon
The nations of earth to His throne.

Not for these, though we know they are coming;
For they are but adjuncts of Him,
Before whom all glory is clouded,
Besides whom all splendor grows dim.

We wait for the Lord, our Beloved,
Our Comforter, Master and Friend,
The substance of all that we hope for,
Beginning of faith and its end;

We watch for our Saviour and Bridegroom,
Who loved us and made us His own;
For Him we are looking and longing;
For Jesus, and Jesus alone.

- Annie Johnson Flint

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10  For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1 John 3:2-3  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.