Hello and welcome!

This blog is a place for me to share thoughts, recipes, things I learn from my Bible, links and anything else I happen to want to post. It is in essence an extension of The Home Maker's Corner. I hope you enjoy it!
All photos used on this blog are taken by me or my family unless otherwise noted. Some photos have had special filters applied. Regarding use of content: please see "the fine print" at the bottom of this page.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Thought from the Past - Pray for Your Pastor

 

By David E. M. with comments by myself.

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Every believer should pray for the pastor or leader of their local church/assembly.

Paul coveted the prayer of the believers at Ephesus. "[Pray]", he said "...for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak." Ephesians 6:19-20

Again Paul wrote by inspiration of God. 2Thessalonians 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: 2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.

Pray for your pastor in you own private prayers, in your family, and at church…

Continue Reading.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Australian Memories – A Bit of Red

 

Taken at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt. Coot-tha.

A picturesque bottle brush tree.

Salvia

Flame tree

Salvia

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Himself He Could Not Save

 

Matthew 27:41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42 He saved others; himself he cannot save...

Himself He could not save,
He on the cross must die,
Or mercy cannot come
To ruined sinners nigh;
Yes, Christ, the Son of God, must bleed,
That sinners might from sin be freed.

Himself He could not save,
For justice must be done;
And sin's full weight must fall
Upon a sinless one;
For nothing less can God accept,
In payment for the fearful debt.

Himself He could not save,
For He the surety stood
For all who now rely
Upon His precious blood;
He bore the penalty of guilt,
When on the cross His blood was spilt.

Himself He could not save,
Yet now a Saviour He:
Come, sinner, to Him come,
He waits to welcome thee;
Believe in Him, and thou shalt prove
His saving power, His deathless love.

Albert Midlane

John 10:17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Berry Fun Saturday – Strawberry Slippers!

 

I think these strawberry slippers over at Ema’s Decorations are so fun and cute! :-)  I am thinking that I might actually try to make these myself sometime.  I have been trying to work more strawberry theme into my clothing of late. 

What do you think?  Are you a strawberry lover?  Would you wear slippers like these?

Delicious Strawberry Slippers – a crochet pattern.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Laying Aside Weights – Some Thoughts On Dealing with Things

 

1 Corinthians 7:29-31  But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

These articles written by others go well with the Laying Aside Weights series. (I know, I thought I was done with that too, but it keeps coming up again.)

Spring Cleaning Your House and Your Mind - Here’s an article over at Living On A Dime about clearing our thinking up as we prepare to clean up our houses for spring and summer.  I dare say most of us could stand to remove some of the “scum of life” that has accumulated from the winter months.  She has some helpful observations about how we view our things and how our things should serve us rather than us serving our things.  (If you have trouble figuring out how to go about organizing and cleaning up – especially if you have some illness that hinders you – you might want to also read this:  How to Get Organized! Part 2.)

Letting Go of Someone Else’s Memories - Here is a thought-provoking item at A Slob Comes Clean for those who are tempted to keep and store other people’s memories and stuff.  I may have posted this before, but it goes well here.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Some Thoughts On Spiritual Warfare

 

Here is another article that I wrote some years ago.

There are a lot of people today who are getting pretty careless in warfare with the devil. It is especially bad among Charismatic types and those on their fringes. While they make fools of themselves in their dealings, others who profess to be Bible believers ignore the possibility of even needing to do warfare with our adversary the devil, acting as if they have "charmed" lives and are immune to attack by simply being saved. They take the hymn literally when it says, "Jesus is the name that charms us..." He seems to be our "lucky" rabbit's foot to some…

Continue Reading.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sew Happy Saturday – Some Quilt Related Links

 

In honor of Worldwide Quilting Day, here are some links on quilt-related subjects.  Enjoy!

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Here is a free primer from McCall’s Quilting on how to do foundation piecing (paper piecing).  It is a PDF download.

Here’s a great tutorial on options for sewing curves from the Sometimes Crafter.  I think I might try one of these if I can actually ever convince myself that I should learn to sew curved quilt pieces. :-)

Here’s a recipe for DIY pressing spray.  This could be useful to anyone who sews, but for quilters it might be very useful.  I have not tried this yet, but I really should.  I think that using spray starch might help with some projects, especially ones cut on the diagonal.

This lady shows us an interesting way to use up scrappy bits in a 9-patch.  I like this improvisational method better than some because, although I like the scrappy look of improvising, some of the things I’ve seen look too busy for my tastes.  I like the way this is contained in an orderly block, but still looks improvised and modern. :-)

Here are some interesting pointers on taking care of heirloom quilts.  While I may not agree with all their ideas, there’s a lot of good advice here (though the ads are a bit overwhelming).  Unless it’s something very labor intensive, I prefer that the quilts I make be used and enjoyed.  You may wish to preserve your old quilts for future generations, but don’t feel compelled to store old quilts away just because they are old.  It’s just stuff, and if you enjoy having it out and using it, by all means do so!

Last, but not least, here is a tutorial for some scrappy quilted potholders.  As a side note I should mention that if you don’t have insulating material to use for the “batting”, try using two 100% cotton washcloths – just be sure they are pre-washed or you may have some disappointing shrinkage.  Actually, this is a good way to use old washcloths as long as they are not too thin in the middle.  (And, as long as you are not planning to sell the hot pads.)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Australian Memories – Other Interesting Things at the Lookout

 

Here are some other interesting things we saw at the Glass House Mountains lookout in Queensland, Australia.

A different kind of blue berries – not edible, I’m sure!

This lizard is commonly called a goanna.  It is a kind of monitor.

Bottle Brush

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Who Would You Invite for Dinner?

 

(For some reason I like the blurriness of this photo.  It gives it a foggy look from the past. :-)  My mom is on the left and Gramma is in the middle.)

 

My friend Jo at Stop…Have A Chat posted this interesting challenge recently and I thought I’d join the fun by making my own list. :-)

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You are planning a  dinner party and you are allowed to invite six people that most fascinate you, they need to be famous.

Who are you going to invite?

You need to have a combination of those who are alive today and those who have died?  Please note that you are not allowed to invite people from Biblical times just to make it a little more tricky.

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Some of my choices are not “famous” by the world’s standards, but I consider them to be so.

  1. Isobel Kuhn (1901-1957) – missionary to China and author of a number of books. 
  2. Annie Johnson Flint (1866-1932) – a prolific Christian poet.
  3. Nate Saint (1923-1956) – the missionary pilot who flew for the Auca endeavor. He is the subject of the book Jungle Pilot.
  4. Jane Austen (1775-1817) – author of Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, two books I especially like.  Also, I think it’s likely that she was a Christian.
  5. Amy Gibson (19??-) – one of my favorite quilting personalities.  I think she would probably enjoy this group.
  6. The Lord Jesus (eternity-eternity) – although Bible times people are excluded I’m going to add Him because He is alive today! :-)

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Would you like to make a list of six people you’d invite for dinner?  Leave a comment or post it on your own blog.  Please give Jo a link back if you blog about it. :-)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Word to the Weary OR Why Do the Righteous Suffer?

 

Psalm 102:1 <<A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the LORD.>> Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee. 2 Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.

Have you ever been through one of those experiences in life where you just ask, "Why, Lord?" Maybe you are going through one right now or know someone who is. It is not that we necessarily doubt that the Lord is with us, we just can't see the reason for such trouble. Or, when we are tempted to doubt, it is because we can't see how this trouble is for our good (Rom. 8:28).

One of the most disturbing questions for mankind probably has always been "Why do the righteous suffer?"…

Continue Reading.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sew Happy Saturday–Testing Fabric In A Room

 

Sometimes it can be hard to decide if you want a certain color or print in a room.  Like paint and wallpaper, you can add a sample of fabric for awhile to see how you like it.

When I was re-covering my nap time pillow with the white poinsettia fabric (see previous Saturday post) I considered re-covering another sofa cushion in the living room with the half yard I had left.  But, I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted more of that fabric in the living room, so I decided to do a test.

I wrapped the extra fabric round the pillow I was thinking of covering and left it there for awhile.  I looked at it in different lights and just considered it for atmosphere and pop.  I even took pictures, which helped me to see it from a “distance”. 

It looked clean and a little more modern.  It matched the seat cushion very well.  But, somehow it didn’t seem colorful enough for me.  I’ve been wanting to add some brighter colors (in moderation) to the living room to pep it up a little.  This didn’t seem to be serving that purpose.  My husband felt the same way, saying that the leaves stood out too much and not the flowers.  Good point.

So, scratch that one.  I’m glad I didn’t sew first and change my mind later!  The original cushion looks more colorful and so it stays – unless I find something I like better to use for a cover. :-)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Australian Memories – The Glass House Mountains

 

The Glass House Mts. are some very interesting looking, very large hills north of Brisbane near the Sunshine Coast of Australia.  These mountains (so-called) are lava plugs that formed in volcanic openings. 

You can see the area where we were staying in the far distance between these two hills.

Someone had created these pretty mosaics of the mountains in the sidewalk at the lookout where we were. 

You may remember my post on our Devonshire tea experience at the Lookout Café from this same day.  The café was located several miles from the lookout where we stopped.  Just for perspective, here is one of the peaks as viewed from the café’s dining area.

Notice the mango grove in the foreground.  It was in bloom and so lovely.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Favorite Kitchen Things – Electric Egg Cooker

 

This little electric egg cooker was given to me by my Texas sister-in-law.  This one is called an EggGenie™.  It is very handy and since it uses a minimal amount of water for cooking boiled eggs (really steamed), it also does not waste water – something we think about quite a bit in Texas these days (and should think of more).

Although I’m not exactly thrilled to cook my eggs in a plastic cooker, this is still one of my favorite kitchen appliances.  The electric egg cookers my mom had when I was growing up all involved aluminum in their construction – something I want to avoid.  This one is plastic and stainless steel.  I don’t make boiled eggs terribly often, so it isn’t like I use it all the time.

It can cook up to 7 eggs at once.  The measuring cup that came with it gives exact amounts of water for the level of doneness for various numbers of eggs.  It’s pretty accurate if you don’t leave the eggs sitting in the cooker too long after turning it off.  Ahem! :-)

Also, before cooking the eggs, you have to poke a little hole in the large end of each egg.  There is a sharp pin inside the cooker for this purpose.  It usually works fine, but occasionally there is that weak shelled egg or something goes wrong and then there’s an clean up job to deal with. :-/  The purpose in the hole is to allow the air to escape from the little sealed chamber at the large end of the egg.  If you don’t do this the egg can crack and even leak during cooking.  Apparently this is more of a problem when steaming eggs.

One complaint with this model is that it doesn’t have an on/off switch.  When you plug it in, it’s on.  So, I have to remember not to plug it in before it’s ready to go – something I forget regularly.  It also doesn’t have a very loud buzzer to let you know when it’s done, and it does not go off till you come and unplug it – really Not Good!

Nevertheless, I’ve used it and found it very handy since I can get the eggs cooking and then tend to other things without giving them much more thought – except to turn them off and rather promptly remove them. :-)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Trusting More, Stressing Less

 

My brother, Mike, wrote this word of exhortation over ten years ago.  I found it in my old email and thought it was worth sharing!

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By Mike Van Nattan

I ran across this little "side note" in a tech magazine I get in my email and I thought it would be humorous to you.

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Here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting medical studies.

  1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Americans.
  2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Americans.
  3. The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Americans
  4. The French drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Americans.
  5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than the Americans.

CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

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It's obvious that Americans have another problem that isn't mentioned here and I think we are all very much aware of this fact:  Stress.  We Americans are probably some of the most stressed out people in the world.  

Some of the oldest people I've known were also some of the least stressed people I've known, and most of them ate exactly what they pleased and still lived to "threescore and ten" and some another whole score (90+).

 Ps 37:1 ¶ <<A Psalm of David.>> Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Ps 37:7 ¶ Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Ps 37:8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Pr 24:19 ¶ Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked;

If we'd all learn to trust the Lord a little more, we'd likely add years to our lives.  It's true saying: "we live in a faithless generation".  More and more people these days have trouble with their heart due to stress.  Sometimes this stress is unavoidable (caused by work) and sometimes it's brought on by a sinful life that so many live.

I'm not saying if you have heart trouble you don't trust the Lord.  But I think the trend is apparent that American people are trusting in themselves more than ever and so they have a reason to worry about their situation because they haven't committed it into the hands of an Almighty God. 

Ro 5:1 ¶ Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Ps 31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.

Let us therefore turn to God for our strength and learn to trust him in all things, committing to him all our worries and concerns through prayer so that we may live a life that glorifies God.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Sew Happy Saturday – A New Pillow Cover

 

Years ago my mom covered a foam cushion for me with crocheted granny squares.  I’ve loved that pillow ever since she gave it to me.  It was the only pillow I could stand to lay my head on when I had sever migraines in my teens and early twenties.  It has even traveled with me.  I use it still for my afternoon naps in the living room because it is still a comfortable cushion for sleeping on.  I really wish that we could get foam pillows of that type today!  It’s the best I’ve ever had.

But, as with all things, age has caused some wear and tear.  Though the foam itself is still comfortable, the fabric covering on the foam is starting to disintegrate.  I was afraid of damaging the the crochet cover by taking it apart to re-cover the foam itself, so I have been using a pillowcase over it.  Recently, though, I decided to make a new cover for it – something that would go in our living room.

I got this pretty white poinsettia fabric on sale at Fabric.com.  For some reason this fabric is nostalgic to me.  My mom and Gramma Hoover both loved poinsettias, so maybe that’s part of the reason. :-)  Anyway, I made a simple fold-over type cover.  It isn’t tricky at all, and I didn’t even add a closure on the back, though I may later.

First, I measured and cut the fabric to the width I thought I needed – in this case about a half yard.  I folded under one selvedge edge and sewed it.  Then I measured again to see how much I needed to have it overlap and added some extra for hemming.  I cut off the excess, then folded under the raw edge twice and sewed that.  Lastly, I folded the whole thing right sides together with the desired overlap (making sure the double-folded edge was on the actual outside), lined up the sides and sewed the side seams.  Then I just turned it right-side-out and ironed it one last time.  Easy-peasy.

Here is what the back looks like.  It is a little loose because I got it a bit too wide.  This could be easily improved by turning it inside-out and sewing one end in a bit farther so that it fits more snugly.  Also, I could add a Velcro® closure here.

Over all I’m quite happy with it, though, and this cover will be easy to remove for washing.  I have another half yard of the fabric and I may make a second cover so that I can simply swap them once in awhile for washing purposes.

Side note: The lace covered pillow beneath is a bed pillow in a pillow sham from a lovely crocheted bed set a friend gave me.  (Yeah, I used “pillow” three times in one sentence.  Keep reading.  I outdid myself.  hehe)  The bed coverlet itself was stained and I couldn’t get it clean, so I am using the pillow shams in the living room.  I put a solid colored pillowcase on the pillow first then put the crocheted sham on over it.  Since I have two, I swap them out once in awhile for washing and ironing.  The pillow is part of my napping arrangements, and it looks much dressier and appropriate for the living room in it’s pretty sham.  It’s a nice way to “upcycle” or repurpose a pillow sham, and at the same time have a bed pillow in the living room that looks like it belongs here. :-)  (It’s also handy for shorter people sitting on our couch to have this pillow to put behind their backs.)

Here’s a video tutorial to help you make your own, using a slightly different method.  This is a very easy project.  You could give your living room a whole new look in one afternoon with some fabric from your stash. :-)