Saturday, February 28, 2015
Malachi 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings…
Revelation 22:5 And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.
Friday, February 27, 2015
Here a couple quilts to make with jelly rolls. Kimberly at the Fat Quarter Shop shows how to make these quilts. They’re a little more complicated in their actual lay out than some things I post, but have fun and play with the lay out if you want it different. Maybe you could even think up your own twist on this. :-)
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Sunday, February 22, 2015
Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 10:8-10 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; 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. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Saturday, February 21, 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
I thought it might be nice to intersperse some feel good things with the sewing posts on Friday. There’s so much sadness and ugliness that is forced on our attention these days, I think we could all use a bit of good news once in awhile.
In case you wondered why some folks love Texas.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Last week was a hard week. My husband has had some recent physical issues that needed addressing (still no diagnosis, we’re waiting to see how the treatment goes). I had something going on – there was at least one migraine and then another that lasted more than one day, which may have actually been a bug of some sort. We didn’t get to go to church fellowship at all because of various health hindrances. I also had some struggles with my old flesh that were discouraging (Rom. 7:18-25).
But, my kind Lord blessed me in a very special way. I received two letters and a package from ladies I know in Australia! I met two of them online through my sister-in-law and the other through the blog or web page (though she also knows my s-i-l’s family). Here are the lovely things I received:
Notice that all five verses on the various things are different. Such a small thing, and yet it indicated the Lord’s attention to details in guiding their choices. Also, that phrase from Isaiah 30:15 at the bottom of the card on the lower right is one of my favorite verses! …in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength… The two papers in the background give the definitions of our first and last names. The letter on the right was printed on the back of such beautiful, cheerful paper! What a great idea. The lady who sent the card on the upper right also included some information that she thought might be helpful for one of my physical difficulties, and she wrote her short note on a separate piece of paper so that I can reuse the blank card! Wasn’t that an nice touch?
One thing that made me feel very humble was to realize that the Lord had planned all this ahead of time for me, knowing that last week would be a hard week. They all mailed their items before I “needed” them. This was a real reminder to me of His faithfulness in caring for the smallest details of our lives – even when we aren’t faithful to Him always. Now, I don’t always get some extra special blessing like this when I’m down or struggling, but our kind Father has a way of reminding us He is there and loves us and that He is FAITHFUL. Sometimes I’m afraid we miss the reminders, but this was hard to miss. :-)
He's helping me now--this moment,
Though I may not see it or hear,
Perhaps by a friend far distant,
Perhaps by a stranger near,
Perhaps by a spoken message
Perhaps by the printed word;
In ways that I know and know not
I have the help of the Lord.
-- Annie Johnson Flint
Another thing that I can’t help noting is just how pleasant it is to get “real mail.” It makes me happy that I’ve been encouraging just this type of behavior on the blog this year. (See the January Challenge and February Challenge) It makes me feel more motivated to pass on the love to someone else. Mailing a letter or greeting card really doesn’t cost that much in the big scheme of things, but that kind touch may alter the whole course of someone’s day or week. Remember the ripple affect. One stone dropped in a pool can make ripples far from where the stone landed. One kind deed done in Jesus’ name can spread joy and cheer in places you may never realize you could reach. Let’s all be more diligent to do these small deeds of kindness – in Jesus’ name and for His glory!
Mark 9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
On Valentine's Day, 2015 the movie version of E. L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey opened in theaters in the U.S. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the book and now the movie. Christians are not the only ones who have objected to this "romantic" glamorization of an abusive relationship. There are even feminists and people in the BDSM life that have objected for various reasons.
What is it about this book and movie?
A Little History
The Fifty Shades Trilogy started its life as a "fan-fiction" story by Erika Leonard (pen name E. L. James). The "real" series it was based on was Stephanie Meyers' Twilight series and the original main characters in Fifty Shades were actually Bella and Edward the vampire. Considering the history and content of the Twilight books, this shouldn't be a big surprise. Abusive sexual relationships could be called a form of emotional vampirism.
Bad trees do bring forth bad fruit. It is an unavoidable law that God has set in motion.
Matthew 7:17-20 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Saturday, February 14, 2015
This is sung beautifully by a South African choir, but whoever transcribed the words did not actually look at a hymnbook apparently as they made some mistakes. So, I’m giving the words here to help those who may wish to sing along. I’m also including verse four, which the choir sadly did not include.
Living for Jesus a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.
O Jesus, Lord and Savior,
I give myself to Thee,
For Thou, in Thy atonement,
Didst give Thyself for me;
I own no other Master,
My heart shall be Thy throne,
My life I give, henceforth to live,
O Christ, for Thee alone.
Living for Jesus who died in my place,
Bearing on Calv’ry my sin and disgrace;
Such love constrains me to answer His call,
Follow His leading and give Him my all.
Living for Jesus wherever I am,
Doing each duty in His holy name;
Willing to suffer affliction and loss,
Deeming each trial a part of my cross.
Living for Jesus through earth’s little while,
My dearest treasure, the light of His smile;
Seeking the lost ones He died to redeem,
Bringing the weary to find rest in Him.
Thomas O. Chisholm
Friday, February 13, 2015
Next weekend the Modern Quilt Guild will be hosting QuiltCon in Austin, Texas again. Two years ago my husband and I visited the first one. There were a lot of amazing quilts, the vendor booths were interesting and it seemed like it was pretty much a success. I saw a few of the classes later on Craftsy.com and some of them sounded interesting.
There were a few quilts at the show that I really didn’t like.
First there was the pixelated image of a bleeding hand gun. A quilt entitled Bang, you’re dead which was created by Jacquie Goring. This was raw activism – really raw. I mean here we were in TEXAS, for crying out loud, and they’re prominently displaying a patently anti-gun quilt. Now, I’m not a gun rights activist by a long shot. In my mind handguns **unfortunately** have a place – due to the sinfulness of humans, primarily. But, I don’t espouse the idea that guns equal freedom and that “everyone should be a member of the NRA”, as I heard a man once say in a church testimony service. (Yeah…really. You hear amazing things in church sometimes.) Personally, I think that a lot of Christians have gone too far in supporting and promoting handguns and other weapons that are obviously for the use of killing people – not animals. I consider myself a pretty moderate moderate on the subject actually.
That said, I REALLY hope that the Modern Quilt Guild will not allow activism of any sort to take over their quilt shows. I would have been just as disgusted to see a quilt depicting aborted babies, even though I am pro-life! Why? Because quilts traditionally stand for comfort, warmth, kindness, love, sharing, giving, compassion…well, you get the picture. Using them as a method to address the hard, ugly aspects of our culture seems really insulting to the true meaning of quilts and quilting. I would hate to see the modern quilt genre invaded by a lot of activists trying to push their own favorite causes – particularly causes that involve volatile and repulsive subject material.
The other two quilts that I objected to were ones which had bold profanity emblazoned across them. I realize that there are a lot of young quilters in the modern quilt movement – we’re talking tattoos, body piercings, and a lot of other stuff. But, seriously? Profanity? Does the Modern Quilt Guild want to reach the widest demographic or do they want to limit their reach to just those who will tolerate seeing nasty language boldly spelled out across a quilt top? If they’re OK with offending the people who don’t appreciate that type of language and wouldn’t bring the kids along to see it, then that’s the direction to take. If, on the other hand, they would like to reach the largest group possible and have a family friendly environment by various standards, they better rethink the profanity aspect and leave such quilts out of the show. After all, isn’t the point of these shows to keep the quilting movement moving forward, growing and prospering? You don’t do that by offending people to the point where they won’t participate.
Now, I did not see all of the quilts at QuiltCon 2013. There may possibly have been more than those few that were objectionable. Also, in retrospect, I realize that I should have written a letter to let the hosts know what I thought soon after the show. (As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not good at actually writing those type of letters!) But, as QuiltCon 2015 comes to pass, I will be interested to see where they go with the modern quilting genre this time around. I consider myself a vintage modern quilter. I have one foot firmly planted in each world. But, I sure won’t be interested in associating with the modern quilt shows or guilds if they are going to embrace obnoxious subject material, and I know there are others like me.
So, here’s hoping that they rein in the free radicals who aren’t afraid to make a warm, cuddly quilt into a platform for confrontational or insulting messages! Here’s hoping that they have the foresight to see that there are some of us out here in the modern quilt world who won’t put up with obscenities forced upon us in that manner. We’ll stay home from their conventions and from their guild meetings and do something more interesting. Maybe work on a modern quilt. :-)
Thursday, February 12, 2015
When we were visiting my brother’s family in Australia we saw poinsettias growing in people’s yards some. This bush was a well cared for double flowered version at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt. Coot-tha. I really liked it!
Psalms 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
This one is to show how big the bush was!
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
This picture was taken in February 2013. :-)
Oxalis, also called wood sorrel.
Ah, February. Here in Central Texas it is basically our early spring. We can have cold weather and frost clear into April, but we usually start to have some lovely balmy days in February. This week we’re having several day in the 70s and low 80s (F)! (21-26C) But, the nights are still chilly, which makes for better sleeping, in my opinion. Of course, if the weather stays too nice for too long things may start flowering and leafing out, which means they’re more likely to be frosted or frozen off later, so it can be a bit of a worry too!
Today I like the…
Smell of… the heater running. (Later it will be almost too warm to open the house, probably!)
Sound of… the cat jingling her collar as she has her morning bath.
Taste of… grape jelly.
Sight of… SUNSHINE!
Feel of… already having a good start on my day.
Good Things about Today:
My husband has a job. The sun is shining. I already communicated with one of my friends. My headache is minimal. Most of all, God is still Faithful!
Things Already Accomplished Today:
Light therapy, breakfast and Bible reading done. Dishes loaded into the dishwasher. Laundry started. Cat hugged – regardless of her feelings about that. :-) One blog post already done and another in progress.
Things that Need to Be Done – Hopefully Today:
Maybe some yard work before it warms up too much. (Will depend on allergy levels!) Finish washing the dining room window. Transcribing some research. Some ironing and maybe working on the sewing room clean up as well. It sounds like a lot to me, but taking small bites of each helps me get more done over the long haul, and mixing things up between active and sitting projects and taking breaks throughout the day helps.
Random Photo from My World:
Two of our mixed breed roosters.
Quote for Today:
It's when you're safe at home that you wish you were having an adventure. When you're having an adventure you wish you were safe at home. -- Unknown
(An excellent reminder for me today as I’ve been feeling a little cramped by the monotony of life recently. Adventure isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!!)
Verse for Today:
Two sections stood out to me today in Matthew 20.
Matthew 20:15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
Sometimes it is a challenge to accept that God has the right to do good things for other Christians when He is doing something different for us. Are we going to resent His goodness to another because we feel like we’re being cheated or treated unfairly? It’s a sobering thought. As His servants, He has the right to deal with each one of us as He sees fit, not as we see fit. If God had to act on our terms what kind of a God would He be? Not the wise and kind one that He is! Just because it doesn’t feel good to us at the moment does not give us the right to complain about His treatment of us and/or be jealous of others.
Matthew 20:25-28 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
There is so much in this short passage!
First off, did you see that it’s normal for the Gentiles to exercise dominion and authority over each other? What a waste of the time God has given us to fret and thrash around about how bad our present governments are and how they are taking away our rights, invading our privacy, or doing this or that. Jesus said that is normal. And notice He mentioned both princes and those who are “great”. That pretty much covers any form of government to which you might attach your hopes. Sorry, but we can’t escape it.
Secondly, Jesus said it was not supposed to be that way among us – His followers. Well, that shoots a big, big hole in the idea that any form of human government should be in the church – not democracy, not republicanism, not tribalism, not monarchy, not militarism, nor any other form of human rule. In the body of Christ we are not to be exercising authority or dominion over each other like the unsaved do. Yes, I know there are certain orders set up in the N.T. for family and church life, but they have to be interpreted in light of this as well.
The point is, we’re called to serve and to minister! Splitting churches or families with democracy, tribalism, castes or any other form of man-made government or society is not ministering to each other as Jesus Christ did. His example of service and ministry was sacrificial – not dominion seeking, power seeking, nor glory seeking in the human sense. We need to beware ourselves, but also we need to consider those in the church realm who demand the right to take dominion and authority over others in this context. Is that the mind of Christ? Not according to what He said in Matthew 20.
Colossians 3:12-14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
In going through old papers and mementoes from our family’s past, I have run across some things that my mom saved over the years. Some of them are little gems that I’d like to pass on to others. Lord willing, I’ll be sharing some of them from time to time on the blog and/or web page.
This first selection comes from part of a page she cut from an unknown Christian publication that is dated August 30, 1964. This poem and devotional thought were placed together on the page by the publisher, and I don’t think it was by accident.
Is there some problem in your life to solve,
Some passage seeming full of mystery?
God knows, who brings the hidden thing to light.
He keeps the key.
Is there some door closed by the Father’s hand
Which widely opened you had hoped to see?
Trust God and wait—for when He shuts the door
He keeps the key.
Is there some earnest prayer unanswered yet,
Or answered not as you had thought ‘twould be?
God will make clear His purpose by-and-by.
He keeps the key.
Unfailing comfort, sweet and blessed rest,
To know of every door He keeps the key.
That He at last when just He sees ‘tis best
Will give it thee.
(Key photo from Wikimedia Commons, source unknown.)
Proverbs 19:3 The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.
1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
When a Christian manifests a restless, dissatisfied spirit, it is because he does not realize the manifold opportunities which God has set before him. The apostle says, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content…” [Philipians 4:11] and he states as the mind of the Spirit, “Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.” [1 Corinthians 7:20] What peace of mind this truth would foster if we gave it full place in our thoughts; and what joy and courage would be ours if we always realized the blessed fact that “his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness…” [2 Peter 1:3].
A. S. Loizeaux
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Friday, February 6, 2015
Thursday, February 5, 2015
These photos were taken when we went to visit The Big Pineapple in Australia. Just a reminder that there is warm and balmy weather somewhere in the world right now. :-)
This little train took people around to look at some Australian animals and things. Some of the family rode on it. In the foreground are pineapple plants.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Illustration property of Holly Hobbie.
There are few things that will add sunshine to any day like receiving an
unexpected package from a friend or family member.
Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Well, it’s time for our second monthly challenge of the year! :-) Hope you all enjoyed the first one. Please go back and read the introduction if you don’t know what is going on. :-)
Make a special treat for family or friends.
Send a small care package to someone who needs cheering up.
You can make these as simple or complicated as you like, but simpler things are more likely to get done. Just sayin’…as much for myself as anyone!
The special treat could be as simple as cinnamon toast and hot cocoa or it could be as complicated as a decorated cake. You could even skip the making part and buy a watermelon. :-) (Please invite me in that case.) You could invite the friends over to share the treat with you/your family, or you could deliver something to their house. You could even combine the two and make a treat to mail to someone. ;-) [The Lord worked it out that I had the opportunity to make a treat for both family and friends yesterday.]
The care package can be something special or it could be something very simple. It could be something very useful, or it could be something that is just for fun or “luxury” (like a chocolate bar if the weather where you are is cool). But, please do send it to someone who needs cheering up, or…as the case may be, someone that the Lord lays on your heart.
My dad and youngest brother making ice cream while my mom supervised. :-) This was taken approximately ten years ago.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Attribute n. - a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.
Psalms 36:5 Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
As you may remember from last month, I am trying this year to think of a different attribute of God each month. This month’s word is “Faithful”.
This attribute brings a lot to mind. We are so unfaithful to the Lord so many times. I’ve struggled with this myself even lately. Also, for over a week now I’ve had a number of nagging disappoints. Both life and people can be so disappointing, and much of that comes from the fact that we can’t count on either one to be just what we’d like it to be or what they should be. Then too, there are the bigger changes and challenges in life – long term illness, moves, loss of work, conflict with people, death, calamity, persecution, and on and on. When I think about it in relation to the faithfulness of God I’m so deeply impressed with how very much we NEED a faithful God!
2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
I also can’t help thinking about how unfaithful the gods of many other religions are – often they are portrayed as whimsical, fluky and sometimes even malicious to their followers. This ought to be another evidence that the God of the Bible is the one true God! As weak, unfaithful humans we need a God who is absolutely faithful to depend upon for our eternal salvation! Nothing less with do.
1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
In 1 Corinthians 10:13-14 we read, There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
There’s so much there that I won’t be able to touch on it all right now. But note especially that God is faithful in not allowing us more temptation than we can bear. He does this through the way of escape that He is faithful to provide. I don’t know of any heathen god that has that image, and even some people who claim to believe the God of the Bible don’t believe His faithfulness is as great as He says it is. Now, who are we going to believe? Him, or mankind (including ourselves)? Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. I love what the Holy Spirit put in verse 14 for us. First we hear of this amazing power of God to help us escape temptation and to limit temptation because He is FAITHFUL, then we’re promptly told to flee idolatry! Do you realize that when we deny God’s faithfulness to us, when we claim He can’t keep us saved or that we’ve been tempted above what we were able and He wasn’t faithful, we are in essence committing idolatry? We are setting ourselves, or some other entity, up as being more powerful and mighty than God Himself. That should give us pause to consider, shouldn’t it?
Regarding suffering, the Holy Spirit tells us through Peter, 1 Peter 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.
Suffering. That is something that makes one recoil inwardly just to think about, isn’t it? It is never neat and tidy nor is it what we imagine it will be. It is usually much worse in areas we didn’t anticipate and easier in areas where we expected worse. It is always painful whether it is physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental. Usually it is all of these things at various times. And yet, what did Peter say? That we should commit the keeping of our souls (not our bodies, Matt. 10:28) to God in well doing (not in suffering for our faults as the context says). Why? Because He is a faithful Creator! I think this best explains that: Psalms 103:13-14 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
That is also a great promise when thinking about the trials of life. The Lord is faithful in so many ways. God’s faithfulness is as good when we are old as it is when we are young. It is the same in hard times and in good, in sorrow and in joy, in peace and in conflict, in health and in illness. It is enough for the great trials and for the little disappointments. And, as we noted about His goodness before, He is faithful even when we are not! His faithfulness is not dependent upon ours, even though He wants us to be faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). 2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
As it is written …without faith it is impossible to please him…, Hebrews 11:6. We can’t be saved without faith. But, in “the body of this death” (Romans 7:24) it is virtually impossible for us to be faithful to God on the same level that He is faithful to us. If we could be that faithful in and of ourselves we wouldn’t need a Savior, now would we?
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ we read in Revelation 19:11, And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
That is a wonderful name, isn’t it? Faithful and True. Oh, what a comfort and consolation in a world that is literally plagued with unfaithfulness and lies! Our wonderful Lord and Savior is Faithful and He is True. Of all the places that we NEED Faithfulness and Truth it is in the Lord! Praise God that He is.
Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
Jesus Christ is a merciful and faithful high priest. There is a double-sided reason here it seems to me. It seems that one thing you might take from that verse is that He is merciful because He knows what it means to suffer in a human body, and He is faithful because He is God and He was faithful to His Father in all that He did – in things pertaining to God. Regardless of how you take that, it is clear that He is a faithful high priest!
Finally, we should not be ashamed to declare His faithfulness.
Psalms 89:1 I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
Psalms 40:10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.