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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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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Creatures Great and Small – Spiders

 

WARNING – If you have a phobia of spiders you may want to skip this post. :-)

Proverbs 30:28  The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.

I dislike spiders pretty much.  I can tolerate some of the garden variety outside where I know they will help reduce the flying bug population, but I don’t want them in my house and I loath them in my bedroom.  My husband and I have each had a significant spider bite at some point in our lives, though, thankfully, neither of them were brown recluse bites as far as we know.  Spider bites can be very nasty.  However, as a photographer and artist I have to admit that there are some that are really quite beautiful in a horrible sort of way. :-) 

I haven’t figured out how to look up spider varieties online and actually find what I’m looking for so these are not named here (as yet).  There must be a fantastic number of types out there.

This first spider is not exactly “beautiful”, but I thought its color was amazing.  I took this photo in Tennessee where we used to live.

 

This spider was in my garden in Tennessee.  I thought it was interesting.

I didn’t realize how interesting it would be with the flash, though!  Quite metallic, isn’t it?  It looks like a piece of jewelry.

I ran across this red velvet “beauty” here in Texas.  I assume it’s a tarantula of some sort, but I couldn’t identify it, as usual.

This spider on a fig tree here in Texas was photographed by my husband.  It is such a vivid green color, that despite its less appealing qualities, I’m going to include it. :-)  There are some interesting “braided” stripes on its back which are hard to see at this angle.

Here is a close-up of its very ugly face and many eyes – and its very prickly legs.

If you recognize any of these spiders please leave a comment telling me what they are.  Thanks. :-)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Random Acts of Blogging

 

The next two weeks are going to be kind of busy for us.  We’re expecting company over the weekend and then we ladies have a bridal shower next week, and my husband and I have been invited to a “game day” at some friends’ house.  This doesn’t really mean much to my readers except – I only have one scheduled post for the next two weeks as of this writing.  Not a good thing.  I usually try to get ahead on that when we’re going to be busy so as to avoid too many holes.  Well…we’ll see what happens.  So, I decided to scrounge up some things off of my hard drive that I’ve stored at various times and see what I could come up with. :-)

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Random quote I read this year in a book.

“Her few ideas are like three or four marbles on a level floor; they have no power to move themselves, but roll equally well in any direction you push them.” (James Lane Allen)

Ok, I’m a little weird, but I liked it. Does it describe anyone you’ve ever known? :-)

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I’m not usually much for jokes, but here’s one my grandpa used to like to tell. :-)

A preacher visits an elderly woman from his congregation.  As he sits on the couch he notices a large bowl of peanuts on the coffee table.  "Mind if I have a few" he asks.  "No, not at all" the woman replied. They chat for an hour and as the preacher stands to leave, he realizes that instead of eating just a few peanuts, he emptied most of the bowl.  "I'm terribly sorry for eating all your peanuts, I really just meant to eat a few." "Oh that's all right" the woman says. "Ever since I lost my teeth all I can do is suck the chocolate off them."

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These are supposed to be actual bumper stickers.  Some my family have actually seen.

ACTUAL BUMPER STICKERS:

"Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine."

"I love cats...they taste just like chicken"

"Out of my mind.  Back in five minutes."

"Laugh alone and the world thinks you're an idiot."

"Sometimes I wake up grumpy; Other times I let her sleep"

"Tow-ers will be violated"

"Montana --- At least our cows are sane!"

"The gene pool could use a little chlorine."

"It is as BAD as you think, and they ARE out to get you."

"I took an IQ test and the results were negative."

"Time is the best teacher; Unfortunately it kills all its students!"

"Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot."

"He who laughs last thinks slowest"

"Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else."

"Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math."

"Consciousness: that annoying time between naps."

“Save the whales. Collect the whole set.”

“Visualize whirled peas.”

“I love dolphins.  They taste great.”

“If you can read this you are too close!”

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Random Picture:

Laugh Out Loud!

A favorite picture of my nephew taken by one of his parents. :-)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sew Much for That

 


This photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post –
except that I liked it because it was peaceful and cheerful.
If you continue to read you will understand why today, that is enough. :-)

Yet another weekend is going by without a Sew Happy Saturday post here.  Last week was OK to miss.  I don’t remember my reason, it has skipped my mind, along with a lot of other things.  But, I’m allowed to skip the sewing post once in awhile because I gave myself permission not to post one every week.  :-)

I had illusions of making a quick, fun project today and getting a post up about it.  Who was I kidding?  My mom and I canned 8 pints of pepper relish today – with several breaks and a couple naps thrown in for good measure  (an act of kindness to my husband).  Now, as I write, I’m getting dinner.  OK, cooking the chicken.  Mom is making spinach, and the rest is leftovers to be added to the pan at the last minute.  (Ah…leftovers, how I love thee now that I keep house myself!)  My husband is reassembling our reluctant washing machine to see if it will work for us for a little longer.

Do I sound a little overwhelmed by life right now?  I should because this week has seemed rather overwhelming to me….well, this month…this year!  What in the world happened to it?  We’re already at the end of May?!?!  What??

In January my Mom had hip replacement surgery.  That was all that happened in January, if you know what I mean.  In February we were helping her with her therapy and I was surviving the winter – as usual.  March was focused quite a bit on getting ready for family to visit in April – family we hadn’t seen in almost 5 years.  So, yeah, it was a big deal!  In April they were here – for a week and a half – and yet it seemed like two days and the whole month all at the same time.  Also, mixed into March and April was yard and garden work and a lot of other things.  Well, May has been a little tamer, but can we talk about catching up – just a little?  Maybe? :-)

And, then there’s June.  In June we are expecting more family to visit.  We have a wedding among our friends, which wouldn’t be a big deal except we’re committed to help – in a small way.  Also there are things I want(ed) to sew for her!  SO much.  Argh.  We also have some church and friends’ activities we wish to attend.  And, this isn’t even mentioning much about all the chores that really, really need to get done!

Now I realize that to some of you this totally misses the mark for “overwhelming”.  I know.  A lot of people live much busier lives than we do.  But, if you only knew how little I’m used to this, and how really unable I would’ve been to do all this a few years ago…

At the same time, with all that and the regular everyday things crammed in, I’ve read too many books, spent too much time reading online and watching many quilting videos, and who knows what else.  Writing…oh, yeah.  I’ve been writing.  And actually doing a little sewing.  Sigh….but the wasted time…  How can we waste so much time right in the midst of feeling so terribly busy?  I haven’t figured that one out yet.

But, when it all comes down to it, after the close scare we got last week about very severe storms here (which the Lord so kindly vetoed!), I have been trying to refocus.  You know, thinking about Moore, Oklahoma (and Granbury and Cleburne, Texas), and thinking about the possibility of it coming here, well, I just want to try to DO the things that are important in the eternal picture more and leave behind the things that don’t count – lay aside more weights that are dragging me down unnecessarily.  We all have weights that we have to carry, so to speak, but I want to think more again in terms of that laying aside of weights that I was focused on last year.  It’s time for a little revival and reorganizing of thoughts.  Maybe I’ll even go back and reread those posts myself.  I never did feel like I finished that series properly.

Yesterday I did decide to lay aside some of the “Very-Urgent-Things” that were nagging to be done, and instead I went and did some other things that needed to be done that would give me more joy (and some pleasant outdoor exercise).  They were the sort of jobs that give a sense of accomplishment when you finish, with not so much of the “Oh-good-I-get-to-do-this-chore-again-right-away-why-did-I-bother” feeling.  (“Forget the vacuuming, I’m going out to prune that photinia bush!”)  Guess what?  I felt a lot better at the end of the day!  And, while “digging” in the garage, I found various things that three different family members have been asking about for some time – things that were in “The Pile” in our garage!  So, I had the added blessing of making other people happy too.  Wow.  Does that feel nice, or what? :-)

Another small tip I actually remembered to put into use this week (thanks to the friend who was praying for me) – when you feel overwhelmed and like you just can’t manage it, instead of crying or getting angry, which may be easy but may have difficult complications, find something that tickles you (like this crazy run-on sentence) – even if you have to make it up – and then just laugh out loud! :-)  Stress relief does not require anger or crying to vent.  Sometimes a good long laugh or singing at the top of your lungs will really do the trick!  And, if you have kids, the great thing is that they will probably join you, even if they are laughing at your maniacal laughing/singing. ;-)

And, in case you didn’t catch it, this post is a steam letting rant cleverly disguised as (feeble) humor. ;-)  But, since dinner is now ready, it’s time to go clear off the table so that I can set it.  My parents are coming to eat with us since Mom is making part of the meal, so I do need to make the room for a proper meal – that’s a good thing tonight.  Once my husband proofreads this for me (and eliminates the parts that are really too nonsensical to publish), I’ll try to get this posted before mid-night.  Maybe.  If it’s important enough. ;-)

How about you?  Has life been just a bit too overwhelming this week, spring, year?  Let’s see if we can reconsider some things and try to simplify and clarify our lives a little – lay aside some weights (Again!) – as we head into June, shall we? :-)  I double-dog dare you. ;-)

James 1:23-25  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Creatures Great and Small – Caterpillar Evening Wear

 

Isn’t this caterpillar beautiful?  I don’t know what kind it is, but it’s fuzzy silver coat with black stripes and red spots looks quite elegant in this flash picture.  I took this photo years ago when my family was living in southern Arizona.

Many, if not all, caterpillars devour plants and are the enemies of gardeners and farmers.  This is why the Lord said, And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.  Joel 2:25-26

Monday, May 20, 2013

Thoughts on Weather and A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

 

dwtornadocasper

Romans 14:8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

Years ago a dear, elderly lady in our church family was in bed one night when some very severe storms were going trough our area.  Her daughter called her and told her she needed to “take shelter”.  Now “Grandma Irene”, as we lovingly and respectfully called her, lived in a single wide mobile home.  Her neighbors on both sides lived in mobile homes, and it was a bit of a walk across the road to a stick built house for an older lady who had trouble walking.  She said to her daughter that she was going to stay put, adding a statement that went down in our family history – “The Lord knows right where I am.” 

Some of us do not have a good option for “taking shelter” when these events happen, but as children of our heavenly Father we can rest in the assurance that He knows right where we are, and as another friend once said, “…nothing is taking Him by surprise.”

I may have posted this poem here before. I can’t remember at the moment. But, with the sever weather that has been and is sweeping the central U.S. it came to mind and seemed like a good reminder.

The Double Clasp

The Saviour's hand - how close its hold,
That none can loosen, none can break.
No powers of heaven or earth or hell
That loving clasp can ever shake.

And over Jesus' wounded hand
The Father's hand of strength is laid,
Omnipotent to save and keep;
Thus is our surety surer made.

So, one beneath and one above,
Father and Son their hands unite.
How safe, how safe the ransomed are
Within that clasp of tender might!

Annie Johnson Flint

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. 30 I and my Father are one.

Hiding In Thee Medley – A good reminder.  Poor photography, but a lovely medley of comfort and assurance. 

[Tornado photo by D. Casper. Used by permission.]

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Friendly Word of Caution

 

Some rather unusual events have been taking place here in the U.S. in relation to “the man at the top”.  Various and sundry things have been coming to the attention of the general public and some of them could bring some serious consequences to him.  The obvious temptation for many Christians and conservatives will be to rejoice over this man’s fall, if indeed he does fall. 

Now, there are many references of the wicked falling into their own snare or trap in the Bible.  One that certainly applies is Proverbs 11:5,  The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.  And verse 10 of the same chapter says, When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.

Some people may use this as an excuse to rejoice at the fall of a man who has seemed intent on doing many unrighteous things.  But, I think we need to also take Proverbs 24:17-18 into account and be cautious in our reaction.  This passage says, Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

There is a tendency among some people to speak of dignities and those in authority in a way that is neither respectful nor prudent.  This has seemed to grow worse over time and the foolish words have seemed to become more bold.  Sadly, there are Christians who are participating in this, which is something that ought not to be so. 

The Apostle Peter warned us about this.

2 Peter 2:9-13  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.  Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

This is not a small matter!  This is very strong language here.  And, notice they specifically “despise government” and “are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”  Yet we see that the angels, who are greater in power and might, do not rail against them before the Lord.  Who are we do so?  And, is not everything we say “before the Lord” since His Spirit dwells within us? 

This is something we need to take very seriously!  Think how often one can hear people railing against “the powers that be” in church meetings, fellowship times, and gatherings of any sort.  Think how often we can read disrespectful things posted on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.  As followers of our Lord Jesus, we need to each ask ourselves, “Am I guilty of this?”

Jude warns us of similar men in his short epistle.  Jude 1:4  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  In verses 8-10 he continues,  Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

Now the implication here is that the “dignities” are of a demonic or devilish nature.  But, it is important to remember that men and women that are in powerful authority positions are often closely related to spiritual wickedness in high places. The more power a man or woman has, the more desirable they are to the satanic forces in furthering their evil schemes.  It seems to me that this is why Peter mentioned government almost in the same breath with speaking evil of dignities. 

Remember in the book of Daniel that when the messenger from heaven came to Daniel, the messenger was hindered by the prince of Persia.  Daniel 10:13  But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.  This is an amazing verse, and I think that we probably cannot have a perfect understanding of it, but it gives us some glimpse into the strange realm of the spiritual powers in high places and of the warfare that occurs there unbeknownst to us.  Consequently, we ought to use great discretion in speaking of those spiritual powers, and of their human servants who are in roles of authority.

Ephesians 6:11-13  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

If this country has a chance to mend its ways and if it should take that opportunity and make changes for good, thank God for that.  If an evil man falls into his own trap, this is the just judgment of God.  But, let us be careful that our own speech is becoming to OUR king, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Philippians 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ…

Titus 2:7-8  In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

Romans 12:17-19 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Random Late Spring Day

 

This Morning I like the…
Smell of… the garden in the warm sunshine.
Sound of… outdoor country noises floating in through my open windows. (In the middle of May in Texas!)
Taste of… a radish seed pod that went from the plant to my mouth in a second or less.
Sight of… sunshine.
Feel of… the gentle breeze.

Good Things about Today: We live in the country.  My dad has grown a lovely vegetable garden for our family’s use, and the Lord has blessed his hard work with produce.  My husband likes his job.  I like mine. :-)

Things Already Accomplished Today:  Picked fresh lettuce for later use.  Planned ahead and got beef tongue out of the freezer for dinner.  (Yes, I LIKE beef tongue!)  Killed a scorpion in the breezeway. (The occasional chore I hate the most!!!!!!)  Killed a caterpillar that was devouring my puniest mint plant. (Why the puniest one?)  Various and sundry other usual things. :-)

Things that Need to Be Done – Hopefully Today: Need to take a load of laundry to my mom’s house to wash since our washing machine is out of service right now. Write a blog post – happening as I speak…er, write.  Do exercises with my mom and sister-in-law (if sister-in-law hasn’t already done them by working in her garden). :-)  Move some stuff into the “garden room” that we want to get rid of.

Random Photo from My World:


Not taken today, but I hope to do this later. :-)

Quote for Today:

I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.
-- Laura Ingalls Wilder

Verse for Today:

Psalms 17:4  Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.

There are a lot of destructive things going on these days from politics to Hollywood to books.  These are things that can easily influence our lives; things that destroy individuals, families and church fellowships.  The wisdom we need so desperately to keep us from this wholesale destruction comes from the word of God, not the works of men no matter how great they may sound or appear to be!  (Rom. 16:17-18)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sew Happy Saturday – Super Simple Layer Cake Quilt Tutorial

 

Here is a tutorial by Jenny Doan, my favorite online instructor, for a really easy quilt top using layer cakes (10” squares).  If you are a beginner or in a hurry to get a quilt done for a gift, this will go together quickly.  And, you don’t have to buy a layer cake to make this.  If you want to use yardage you can.  You will simply need to cut your own fabric into 10” squares.  As she says, a layer cake is about 2 3/4 yards of fabric, so that will give you an idea of how much to buy – I’d make a mix of yardage that equals 3 yards just to be safe. 

If you cut your own yardage you will have to work more with the blocks to make sure you don’t have like pieces touching, if that is a problem to you.  Sometimes I don’t mind having two fabrics of the same print right next to each other because I think it gives an interesting focal point, but that’s just my graphics design tendencies maybe. :-)  Also, make sure that you have a good variety of fabrics.  Think about trading with a friend or using good cotton scraps from other projects if you have them.

The Layer Cake Quilt Tutorial

You can put this top on a regular quilt back as she shows here, but you could also sew it to a large piece of fleece and make a nice cuddle quilt. In which case you might want to make it a bit smaller than a twin size.  These can be quilted, or you can tie them. :-)  (Yes, I do sometimes tie a quilt!)  Hopefully I’ll get a tutorial up on how to make a light cuddle quilt with fleece or flannel.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Hard Questions – Are You A Mouse or A Man?




Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

Recently my sister and brother-in-law and their two small children paid us a visit.  It was a real blessing to spend time with family, especially those who desire to please God.  My brother-in-law is the sort of father who is very involved in the training and instructing of his children and, though he has a warm friendship and relationship with them, he also has certain expectations as to their behavior.

In the course of their visit here there were a number of times when my small nephew, who is 5 years old, was behaving in a way that his father perceived as weak or unmanly.  Now, he desires to see his son learn to be a man from an early age and so he is training him in that direction.  When some of these events happened my brother-in-law was apt to ask him, “Are you a mouse or a man?” in a friendly but firm tone of voice.  My nephew would answer in a somewhat timid, but still decided manner, “A man.”  To this his father would reply one of several things: “Well, then act like it.” Or, “Then do such-and-such” (something pertaining to the situation).  Or, “Then don’t let me hear any more squeaking.” (My personal favorite.)

I enjoyed these scenes quite thoroughly.  They were always done in a hardy comrade sort of way meant to help the small son to buck up and do the manly thing.  In thinking about it, though, I realized that it had applications for a wider thought for us as Christians.

We all have our struggles and weaknesses and our moments when we are faint and don’t stand up and do the strong thing.  Every one of us has his or her own battle to face where we must “gird up the loins” of our mind (1 Peter 1:13), and dig in and do whatever it is that has to be done with a brave spirit.  In short, be men, not mice.

Now, I know some ladies will object, possibly even with vigor, that we are not men and can’t be expected to act like them.  I know that from a human stand point.  Yes, women are the weaker vessel in many respects (1 Peter 3:7).  But, in the spiritual realm another law rules.

We are told in 1 Peter 3:1-4,  Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Now there’s a lot there that I’m not going to go into now, but what I want to point out is that those ladies who are in Christ have a hidden man of the heart – in the sight of God.  Now, there are some people who believe some rather odd things about what we’ll all be when we get to heaven.  I’m not going there in this discussion.  But, what we know from the New Testament epistles is that women do have a hidden man of the heart and in many passages the writers address the whole church as if they were speaking to us all as brothers in Christ – spiritual men.  We admit this when we apply so many of those passages to all the church – men, women and children – in a broad manner.  “Put on the whole armour of God..” Ephesians 6:11.  “Fight the good fight of faith…” 1 Timothy 6:12.  “Bear ye one another’s burdens…” Galatians 6:2.  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.  And, so on and so forth.  We know that we are all soldiers of Christ.

Galatians 3:26-28 tell us, For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

In Christ Jesus there is no male nor female, among other things.  We are all one in Him.

So, what am I trying to say here?  Basically this, our Father in heaven is a kind and loving father to us as well, and He desires to see us buck up and fight the good fight of faith.

Now, sometimes, like my small nephew, we hold back, we are afraid, we are running around our small world squeaking and fussing instead of being “men”.  I do it.  I know you do it too because  “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man…” 1 Corinthians 10:13.  :-)  It’s a basic flaw in mankind at large to wimp out at some point or another, no matter how strong any one person thinks he or she is.

As our starting verse says, If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.  Proverbs 24:10  We all face adversity at some point and in some way.  It’s a part of life.  And, we don’t always face it without fainting.  We are flesh still after all.  But, I think sometimes our kind Father would ask us, “Are you a mouse or a man?” 

You see, He has given us all the tools in Christ Jesus to be men for Him in this battle.  No matter what particular adversity comes, He has gone before and provided the ability to meet it through the work that His Son did on Calvary.  He has purchased the salvation.  He has given us His Spirit to strengthen us in the hidden man of the heart.  He has provided the armor and He will provide the strength.  Yes, it is hard.  But, it is also a great privilege that He should ask us to stand up and be soldiers for Him.

Sometimes we are like my nephew, I think.  In our hearts we don’t want to be mice, so we give the right answer, but we answer in a hesitant voice. The thing is, we know if we answer that we are “men” our heavenly Father is going to tell us to do something that we really don’t want to do. We all feel this way secretly in our hearts at times. We’re afraid or timid to do the strong thing, but at the same time we don’t want to be counted as mice! :-)

You know, I never saw my brother-in-law ask his small son to do anything that he wouldn’t do himself.  The Lord is not asking us to do anything that He has not done Himself.  In fact, He has done far, far beyond what He asks us.  In the person of Jesus Christ, He died for mankind.  In that alone He did far more than He will ever ask us to do.

The Father forsook His Son - Matthew 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 

The Son took upon Him all of our sins, our failures, our human faults and flaws and heartaches both small and great.  Isaiah 53:3-5  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

He obviously has the power to do all that is required, and He only asks us to go and do based upon His own power.  And, what’s more, He has promised to be with us alway.  Matthew 28:18-20  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  Surely that is enough?

How about you today?  Are you hiding from the responsibility, work or battle that God has for you?  Are you running around squeaking in complaint or protest of the trials of life?  I struggle with these things myself.  I believe there are times when we each need to ask ourselves, “Are you a mouse or a man?”

1 Corinthians 16:13, Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

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For further consideration:

God’s Will Be Done – a poem by Annie Johnson Flint

Hard Questions – Are You A Mouse or A Man?




Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.

Recently my sister and brother-in-law and their two small children paid us a visit.  It was a real blessing to spend time with family, especially those who desire to please God.  My brother-in-law is the sort of father who is very involved in the training and instructing of his children and, though he has a warm friendship and relationship with them, he also has certain expectations as to their behavior.

In the course of their visit here there were a number of times when my small nephew, who is 5 years old, was behaving in a way that his father perceived as weak or unmanly.  Now, he desires to see his son learn to be a man from an early age and so he is training him in that direction.  When some of these events happened my brother-in-law was apt to ask him, “Are you a mouse or a man?” in a friendly but firm tone of voice.  My nephew would answer in a somewhat timid, but still decided manner, “A man.”  To this his father would reply one of several things: “Well, then act like it.” Or, “Then do such-and-such” (something pertaining to the situation).  Or, “Then don’t let me hear any more squeaking.” (My personal favorite.)

I enjoyed these scenes quite thoroughly.  They were always done in a hardy comrade sort of way meant to help the small son to buck up and do the manly thing.  In thinking about it, though, I realized that it had applications for a wider thought for us as Christians.

We all have our struggles and weaknesses and our moments when we are faint and don’t stand up and do the strong thing.  Every one of us has his or her own battle to face where we must “gird up the loins” of our mind (1 Peter 1:13), and dig in and do whatever it is that has to be done with a brave spirit.  In short, be men, not mice.

Now, I know some ladies will object, possibly even with vigor, that we are not men and can’t be expected to act like them.  I know that from a human stand point.  Yes, women are the weaker vessel in many respects (1 Peter 3:7).  But, in the spiritual realm another law rules.

We are told in 1 Peter 3:1-4,  Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Now there’s a lot there that I’m not going to go into now, but what I want to point out is that those ladies who are in Christ have a hidden man of the heart – in the sight of God.  Now, there are some people who believe some rather odd things about what we’ll all be when we get to heaven.  I’m not going there in this discussion.  But, what we know from the New Testament epistles is that women do have a hidden man of the heart and in many passages the writers address the whole church as if they were speaking to us all as brothers in Christ – spiritual men.  We admit this when we apply so many of those passages to all the church – men, women and children – in a broad manner.  “Put on the whole armour of God..” Ephesians 6:11.  “Fight the good fight of faith…” 1 Timothy 6:12.  “Bear ye one another’s burdens…” Galatians 6:2.  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.  And, so on and so forth.  We know that we are all soldiers of Christ.

Galatians 3:26-28 tell us, For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

In Christ Jesus there is no male nor female, among other things.  We are all one in Him.

So, what am I trying to say here?  Basically this, our Father in heaven is a kind and loving father to us as well, and He desires to see us buck up and fight the good fight of faith.

Now, sometimes, like my small nephew, we hold back, we are afraid, we are running around our small world squeaking and fussing instead of being “men”.  I do it.  I know you do it too because  “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man…” 1 Corinthians 10:13.  :-)  It’s a basic flaw in mankind at large to wimp out at some point or another, no matter how strong any one person thinks he or she is.

As our starting verse says, If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.  Proverbs 24:10  We all face adversity at some point and in some way.  It’s a part of life.  And, we don’t always face it without fainting.  We are flesh still after all.  But, I think sometimes our kind Father would ask us, “Are you a mouse or a man?” 

You see, He has given us all the tools in Christ Jesus to be men for Him in this battle.  No matter what particular adversity comes, He has gone before and provided the ability to meet it through the work that His Son did on Calvary.  He has purchased the salvation.  He has given us His Spirit to strengthen us in the hidden man of the heart.  He has provided the armor and He will provide the strength.  Yes, it is hard.  But, it is also a great privilege that He should ask us to stand up and be soldiers for Him.

Sometimes we are like my nephew, I think.  In our hearts we don’t want to be mice, so we give the right answer, but we answer in a hesitant voice. The thing is, we know if we answer that we are “men” our heavenly Father is going to tell us to do something that we really don’t want to do. We all feel this way secretly in our hearts at times. We’re afraid or timid to do the strong thing, but at the same time we don’t want to be counted as mice! :-)

You know, I never saw my brother-in-law ask his small son to do anything that he wouldn’t do himself.  The Lord is not asking us to do anything that He has not done Himself.  In fact, He has done far, far beyond what He asks us.  In the person of Jesus Christ, He died for mankind.  In that alone He did far more than He will ever ask us to do.

The Father forsook His Son - Matthew 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 
The Son took upon Him all of our sins, our failures, our human faults and flaws and heartaches both small and great.  Isaiah 53:3-5  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

He obviously has the power to do all that is required, and He only asks us to go and do based upon His own power.  And, what’s more, He has promised to be with us alway.  Matthew 28:18-20  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  Surely that is enough?

How about you today?  Are you hiding from the responsibility, work or battle that God has for you?  Are you running around squeaking in complaint or protest of the trials of life?  I struggle with these things myself.  I believe there are times when we each need to ask ourselves, “Are you a mouse or a man?”

1 Corinthians 16:13, Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

-----------------------------

For further consideration:

God’s Will Be Done – a poem by Annie Johnson Flint

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sew Happy Saturday – Organizing to See what You Have

 

Here is one way to organize some of those loose bits and pieces in the sewing room.  This can be done by recycling or reusing large plastic jars or tubs which came with food in them.  My husband likes to buy pretzels at Costco (warehouse store), so they come in large quantities – meaning they also come in large containers which happen to be clear plastic.  Be forewarned, though – pickle or sauerkraut jars might make your finery and fabric smell, well…odd. :-)  It’s hard to get some smells out.

(No, those fabric scraps are not perfectly organized by color.) :-)

One nice thing about this method of storage is that it’s easier to see what you have at hand, and find just the right scrap, width of ribbon or eyelet that you want.  You could also store other items such as zippers, bias tape, etc.  Buttons could be separated by color into smaller jars.

A word of warning:  If you have a sunny sewing room, or if you have florescent lights that you use often, and you cannot close the containers away in a closet or other dark storage area, I don’t recommend this method.  Light will fade colored fabrics, ribbons, laces, etc. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Creatures Great and Small – Bad Hair Day

 

I have no idea what kind of bird this is, but he has a face only a mother could love. :-)  I took this photo when we lived in Tennessee.  He (or she) was waiting patiently on the fence waiting for his mama to come back with more food.