Tuesday, September 29, 2015
William Shakespeare’s works are highly esteemed in the world. His talent is really unquestionable. He was a great writer. But, is it really good, wholesome entertainment, or is there a dark side to it?
Here is an article that I compiled some time ago and recently updated.
There is some question as to who William Shakespeare really was. Some people are sure he was the actual author of the many plays and sonnets that are attributed to him. Some are just as certain that it was a ruse to hide the identity of someone else. There are probably numerous candidates for the "real William Shakespeare" though I doubt many of them know it or care about it any more.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
Here is a new article I’ve been working on at the Home Maker’s Corner. It is rather long, but this is a subject that is of pretty high importance right now with marital unfaithfulness being such a focal point in Christian circles, especially in Christian Patriarchy.
Why Is A Wife Blamed for her Husband’s Unfaithfulness?
Proverbs 20:23 Divers weights are an abomination
unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.
The recent Duggar catastrophe that exposed Josh Duggar for having an Ashley Madison account and his subsequent "confession" has caused a lot of discussion. Among other things, there has been speculation about whether Anna, his wife, would feel compelled to share in the blame. This compulsion could be caused by a number of things - the teachings of Gothard on sexual sin, her own misguided conscience, her in-laws, her church fellowship, etc.
I feel badly for Anna, but there is nothing that I personally can do for her except pray, so speculating on her state of mind and conscience is kind of pointless. However, it seems like it would be appropriate to stop and consider how we arrived at the point where women in Christendom are so often blamed either partially or mostly for their husbands' moral failures. How did this unjust balance in thinking come about? Here are some reasons that came to mind. There are probably more.
Saturday, September 26, 2015
Revelation 21:2-4 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Friday, September 25, 2015
Here are two different ways to make small strawberry boxes These boxes would be perfect for small candies or perhaps a little gift of special buttons or other small craft or sewing items. They would also make cute party favors.
Photo property of Oh Happy Day.
This free printable by Kate Lilley of Oh Happy Day gives you a fully colored strawberry and top. If you have a color printer you can just print off the PDF file and then put it together according to the directions.
Here is a PDF file with a template for another strawberry box. This one is a template which you will trace onto the paper of your choice. This project comes from the Oriental Trading Company.
I wonder if it would be possible to cut the pieces from sturdy white craft paper and then glue fabric in the appropriate colors to the outside before folding and putting it all together. Just a thought. :-)
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
In April of 2014 I posted a memorial to my great-uncle, Dana Mathna. This past summer his dear wife, Helen Hoover Mathna, went to be with the Lord also.
I told a good deal about Aunt Helen and their family in the previous post, so I will not repeat it all here, but please to take the time to go back and read it if you can. Uncle Dana was a great blessing also, and I mentioned a good bit about Aunt Helen there as well and various things that affected her life.
Added to the previous information, Aunt Helen was born on January 29, 1925. She was the sister of my grandfather. She is the last one on either side of the family from my grandparents’ generation. Somehow that seems sad to me because we’ve lost a connection with the past that can’t be replaced. But, this is one of the aspects of time that is unavoidable.
Uncle Dana and Aunt Helen were married in June of 1946 and Aunt Helen wore my grandma’s wedding dress. I believe they planned their wedding for when my grandparents would be home (see picture at the other post).
Aunt Helen was primarily a homemaker and loved her family very much (you can see more pictures of them all at the post about Uncle Dana).
She was a sweet Christian and a real prayer warrior. She was also a member of the Shippensburg First Church of God for 78 years! She worked in the nursery, taught Sunday School and served as a Deaconess for many years. After Uncle Dana retired, she helped him with custodial work at the church building.
This is the old building of the Shippensburg First Church of God (Pennsylvania). It was within walking distance from their house, which was convenient for church meetings as well as the custodial work. I remember attending services there.
My mother always speaks lovingly of Aunt Helen. She thought very highly of her. Mom’s family visited them and Grandpa’s home church in Shippensburg whenever they came home on furlough, and those were happy times to her.
This is how I remember Aunt Helen. She is the only great-aunt that I knew very well, and I’m very thankful I had that privilege. I remember her as a kind and gentle lady. She didn’t always talk as much as some of the others when we were all together, but you could tell she enjoyed being with her family and she considered us as part of that. We stayed with them a couple times that I can remember and it was a pleasure to visit there. I plowed my way through a collection of her books one summer when we spent a couple of weeks there. :-) She had one of the sweetest smiles, and my mom has inherited it from her dad and his youngest sister.
This is Aunt Helen with her mother, my Great-grandma Hoover. Aunt Helen really makes me think of my own mother in this picture!
I love this picture of Aunt Helen having a meal (dinner?) with these ladies. I know two of them were related to her, and the little girl is her daughter, Janet (wasn’t she a cutie?). That was her sister beside her and her mother is the first on the left. Please notice that all the ladies in this picture are wearing aprons! :-) I am SO happy we have this picture! (Thanks to my Uncle Jim’s notable efforts at scanning.)
One thing I remember about Aunt Helen’s house was that the food was good. She was famous in our family for her Chicken Corn Chowder and Pineapple Bake, as they called it.
I found this recipe from Aunt Helen in my mom’s write-in cook book.
Chicken Corn Chowder
Boil 2 C. water
1 envelope chicken noodle soup dry mix
1 Tbl. onion
1/4 C. rice
Cook until done.
2 C. milk
1 8 oz. can cream style corn
15 oz. boned, fully cooked chicken
Heat through and serve.
I couldn’t find the following recipe in the book, so I looked online and was able to figure out what it should be.
Heat oven to 350F.
1 stick butter
1 C. sugar
4 eggs, one at a time
Drain and stir:
1 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple
6 slices day old white bread, cubed
Pour into a greased casserole dish (I think it was 2 qt.) and bake for 50 minutes or till top is golden brown.
I can’t post many pictures of her from later in her life because they aren’t scanned into the computer, and the ones my parents have would be time consuming to locate. Perhaps another day (or year) I may add some. Here is one last shot of her, which I love. This was taken in their back yard.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
The article I was working on for today is not finished and is taking too long, so I am posting this poem from my mom’s collection. :-)
You say it will cost much to follow,
But what will it cost to refuse?
You may gain the world and its glories,
But what if your soul you thus lose?
You say He may call you to follow,
Leaving all that to you is so dear;
Yea, even to give your own life blood
That souls still in darkness may hear.
If you would thus follow the Master,
On the altar all things must be laid;
He gave His own life as a ransom,
His blood your redemption has paid.
Be sure you count the cost rightly,
Putting value where value should be;
If you put Jesus first and His glory
All things will be added to thee.
by Flora Osgood
Luke 14:27-33 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Isaiah 25:4 For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.
Friday, September 18, 2015
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
I took the liberty to appropriate this "get to know your friends better" questionnaire for Christians; I changed some of the questions. Please feel free to use this among your own friends. Simply copy it, paste it where you want it, delete my answers and fill in your own. Then you can either post it on your own blog or send it in email to your own friends asking them to delete your answers and send it back with theirs. I just thought it would be fun to fill it out from my point of view for my readers. :-)
Pr 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
1. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? Some shoes and a lot of dust, maybe a stray tissue or two. (Remember I’m trying not to be a perfectionist and who’s going to know, except the cat, right?) :-)
2. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING NOW? Jeremiah. I’m reading several books. The latest addition to the pile is The Queen Mother by Lady Colin Campbell. It remains to be seen whether it’s worth keeping or not. :-)
3. EARLY TO BED OR NIGHT OWL? Prefer to go to bed early-ish, but usually we don’t manage it these days. Not usually late night owls, though.
4. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO DOING MOST IN THE KINGDOM or NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH? My imagination runs a little wild - Walking on the clouds at sunset, and growing a perfect garden.
5. FAVORITE HYMN(S)? I Could Not Do Without Thee, Jesus what A Friend for Sinners (sometimes called “Hallelujah, What A Savior”), I Must Tell Jesus...too many to name.
6. FAVORITE SMELL(S)? Freshly watered mint, a fig tree on a warm afternoon, fresh water lakes, rain, fresh mown hay, the mysterious sweet smell that blows through our yard here sometimes. (I’ve never figured out what it is.)
7. LEAST FAVORITE SMELL(S)? Jasmine blossoms (they make me extremely sick), rotten food, dirty diapers, and other nasties. Any strong perfume or fragrance – artificial or natural.
8. FAVORITE FLOWER(S)? Roses, daffodils, lily of the valley, violets, lilacs... Oh, lots.
9. FAVORITE VEGETABLE? Snow peas. Black Krim Tomatoes!
10. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING? Usually trying to pull my brain into reality. Then my husband.
11. FAVORITE COLOR? Pink (but not "dusty" pink), coral, teal/turquois, rich reds, forest green, and lots of others...Hey, I'm graphics designer and photographer, I love color! :-)
12. FAVORITE BIBLE VERSE?
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
13. FAVORITE TIME OF DAY? Morning. And whenever my husband comes home. :-)
14. JOB YOU DISLIKE THE MOST? Emptying containers of rotten food and unloading the dishwasher (which makes no sense, but it’s true).
15. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Chocolate!
16. FAVORITE CAKE or PIE or....? Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. :-)
17. STORMS: FUN or SCARY? Often scary here in Texas. When they are mild storms they are relaxing.
18. FAVORITE BOARD GAME? Pictionary, Apples to Apples
19. WHEN DO YOU MAKE YOUR BED? Usually before leaving the bedroom in the morning.
22. FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR? Spring. But autumn is nice too.
23. WHO LED YOU TO CHRIST? The Holy Ghost through both my Mom and Dad.
24. FAVORITE BOOKS? The King James Bible. The Poems of Annie Johnson Flint. History, Grace S. Richmond, Jane Austin, The Jungle Doctor books, some “youth fiction” from the late 1800s and early 1900s. :-) Other misc.
25. PLACE YOU WOULD VISIT IF YOU COULD? Right now: Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’d like to go visit my in-laws again, but travel is a challenge these days.
26. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD? Anxiety/panic attacks in the middle of the night.
27. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOBBY? Reading, writing, photography, sewing, piano, card making, gardening (well, in Texas gardening “ain’t so much” as it was in other places). Maybe I should say that having lots of hobbies is my hobby. ;-)
28. FAVORITE BIRD? Cardinals.
30. ANY PET YOU WOULD HAVE IF YOU COULD? A red boxer and a friendly, sociable cat that liked to be cuddled. (lol)
Our not-so-sociable cat. :-)
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Since we are thinking about God’s love this month, I thought it would be nice to add some random things to help. Some of these came to mind while I was preparing to write last week’s article, but I didn’t want to make that one too long.
1 John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
No Greater Love – This page was something that I put together some years ago for “The Quiet Place” – a project of my dad’s.
See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
- Isaac Watts
The Love of Christ – A poem by Annie Johnson Flint
His wrath the seven vials hold,
The seven trumps His judgments sound;
But what can span the love of God,
And what His goodness bound?
The seven woes shall have an end,
The seven plagues His hand shall stay:
But when shall His compassions fail,
His kindness pass away?
- Annie Johnson Flint
There is a Love that longs with deep affection
To gather all the sin-sick sons of men,
Beneath its wings of shelter and protection,
And give them health again.
It is the love of Jesus, sweet with longing,
His full salvation to the world to give;
Crying to all the dead, earth's highways thronging,
"Come unto Me, come unto Me and live."
- Annie Johnson Flint
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
Frederick M. Lehman
2 Thessalonians 3:5 And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Friday, September 11, 2015
Here’s another cute, quick-to-make quilt from Jenny Doan of the MSQC. She calls it “Jenny’s Tents”, but it reminded me of a refugee camp. I couldn’t help thinking that it would be a good reminder to pray for the thousands of refugees around the world who are in need of a Savior. I had never thought of a quilt before as a reminder to pray, but this one could certainly serve that purpose. This pattern could also be used to make a smaller wall hanging.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
I decided to do something a little different today. I enjoyed the photos of my new blogging friend, Debbie Ray, so much that I wanted to pass along the pleasure to my readers. The end of summer has its own peculiar feel, smell and look. There’s just something about it as we anticipate the approach of autumn.
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Attribute n. - a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.
The subject of the love of God is such a vast one that I have been hesitating to actually write about it. One could write many articles, even books, and still barely scratch the surface. As I mentioned at the beginning of this series, this is not a theological study, so I’ve decided to just share some thoughts that came to mind on the subject of love.
1 John 4:8 …God is love.
Love is a little hard to define. The definitions I read didn’t impress me overly much, especially when considered in relation to God’s love. Some people view love as strictly a feeling. Others have defined it as a choice. Personally, I think there is something of both about it. Since it is so hard to define, I think we should consider some aspects of love as we find it in scripture. These are given in no particular order as to importance.
Love is giving and generous.
John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Real love gives good gifts. It gives itself. It gives its best possessions. This is the love that God has shown to us. In particular, He gave us His best beloved – His only begotten Son. In Jesus Christ, God has given us many wonderful things as well. Ephesians 2:4-6 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
He has also given us His Spirit. 1 John 4:13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
Love is not blind.
From John 3:16-17 we also see that true love is not blind. God loved us, but He also saw the problem. He saw our sinful, lost condition. He loved us while we were still sinners, when we were unlovely and ungodly.
Romans 5:6-9 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Love is sacrificial.
So continuing on from the verses in Romans 5, we also see that love not only gives, but that it is sacrificial, even unto death. God gave His Son to die, and Jesus Christ was willing to die for us because of His great love for us, even when we were still sinners. There is nothing that we could ever do to earn a love like that. It had to be given to us by God when we still didn’t understand it or the extent of our need.
John 15:13-14 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
We are His friends if we are born again and walking after His Spirit, but Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners, as Romans 5 tells us. This is beyond our human comprehending. We can only receive it by faith because it is past understanding.
Without the forgiveness of God we cannot ultimately benefit from His love. His love, and the sacrifice He gave to save us, can only be applied through His forgiveness of our sins which separated us from Him. This forgiveness comes to us through grace, repentance and faith, and ultimately through the drawing of His Holy Spirit.
Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
One of the most beautiful examples in scripture that we have of this is the parable of the prodigal son. The father, though he didn’t go out and drag his wayward child home against his will, was watching for the first small sign of repentance. He saw his returning child “a great way off” and ran to meet him. That means his father-heart was watching constantly for his son’s return. This is such a moving picture of God’s love for us. It is wonderful how the father met him with love and forgiveness, not with accusations. The father knew that the son’s repentance was real and he accepted it without rebuke. This is a God-like forgiveness, and it stems from His amazing love.
Luke 15:17-24 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Love begets love.
1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
One of the wonderful aspects of God’s love for us is that when we accept it, it causes us to love Him in return. This is not always true of human love, it seems to me.
How could we help but love God considering all He has given us in His love?! And yet, there is this mysterious thing about it because, if we don’t accept His love and believe He loves us, we can’t love Him in return. We must acknowledge His love for us first, and we must receive the free gift that His love offers us – His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Not only will God’s love for us teach us to love Him, but it will cause us to love our fellow believers. We are commanded to do so, because to some degree love is a choice, as this verse indicates. But, if we truly love the Lord, we will want to obey His commandment to us.
1 John 5:1-3 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
1 Peter 1:7-8 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
Love is safe.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
One of the most mind-boggling aspects of God’s love is its immense safety. In some instances human love can be intensely safe, but we all know that it can fail us too, for all flesh is grass (1 Peter 1:24-15). But, with God’s love this is impossible. We may not always understand what He is doing or why He is doing it (Rom. 8:28), but the promises that He has given us about His eternal love are so sure, so unnegotiable, that it is only our own human weakness that ever causes us to question His love for us.
Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Regarding human love we read in Song of Solomon 8:6-7, Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
If this is true about the love between a man and woman, it is infinitely more so with the love of God. His love is stronger than death. (Jesus arose from the grave for our eternal life, so that we need not fear death.) God’s love cannot be quenched; it cannot be drowned, as it were. And, most truly, we cannot buy God’s love. …[A]ll our righteousnesses are as flithy rags before Him (Isaiah 64:6). He would condemn all our efforts to earn His love.
Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
Love serves the beloved.
The Lord Jesus Christ showed us His love, not only by dying for us, but by living for us! He willingly served His disciples, and He told us to follow His example.
John 13:13-16 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:15, And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. In the spirit of God’s love for him and for us all, Paul was glad to spend and be spent for other believers, even when he knew that they might not appreciate it.
Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
I can’t conclude with anything better than this:
1 John 4:7-12 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Friday, September 4, 2015
Here is a tutorial for an easy little pin cushion. If you don’t want to make it patchwork, just make it with squares of fabric. There are various things you could add to make it more pretty as well. These would make nice little gifts, an addition to a gift basket, or even favors for a party. [Tutorial by Melanie Ham.]
Thursday, September 3, 2015
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
This month’s challenge is about reaching out to others and adding something positive to their lives.
Once school starts in north America it seems that people’s busyness only escalates until after January 1st. It can be easy to fall into a habit of being more self-focused, and more focused on one’s own particular set of interests and responsibilities. I thought it might be a good idea to make a point of remembering others and this is a good month to get into the habit. It’s also a good time to start making an effort to be more cheerful since the days are getting shorter and the start of SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) is upon us.
Smile more at others both at home and in public.
Talk to someone you usually don’t talk to much – at church meetings, at the shops, at your homeschool group, at your Bible study group, at your kids’ activities, etc.
Proverbs 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.
Obviously this is about being more friendly. :-) It will also push some (most?) of us more or less out of our comfort zones.
The first one isn’t going to be a “one-time-and-you’re-done” type of thing. It’s more in the line of making a new habit, if possible. I try to remember to smile at people in public, particularly other ladies and children. Sometimes it’s hard to keep in mind, though, especially if I’m feeling off myself.
Sometimes I’ve found people either acted like they never even saw me, or they acted almost nervous that I would smile at them. Some people will readily smile back. Some will smile almost like it’s a duty or they are embarrassed about it, but at least the try. The responses are interesting at any rate. But, the fact of the matter is that people need smiles. That is why God gave humans this unique, language-less means of communicating.
Talking to people with whom we don’t usually talk may be more of a challenge than the first one for some. It can take some perseverance trying to visit or have a conversation with some people. If the first one doesn’t respond, try someone else. Start with a greeting and friendly comment or question about everyday life. Don’t ask them something very personal, even if you know they are going through something (unless you have some legitimate reason to do so). The point is to be friendly and extend some kindness, not to put them on the spot or make them uncomfortable (though some people seem to feel that way for their own reasons).
If you struggle with being friendly with people outside of your little circle of friends and family, I really encourage you to make that a matter of prayer. We are often the only face of Jesus that many people will ever see out in the world. Our countenances and the way we speak and interact with others (and our own) will often speak louder than tracts or invitations to “come to church”. If we look like curmudgeons, why would they want our Savior?
I must say, there is also something very satisfying about transforming a troubled or gloomy face into a smile with one of your own. I think it has to do with Acts 20:35, I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Links: (Possible disclaimer on some content.)
Here are 15 Benefits of Smiling. It can make you happier and healthier!
Jo at “Finding Joy In the Every Day” wrote an interesting post on smiling recently.
If you missed it, I wrote an update last week on my efforts to do some of the challenges. :-)