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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Evening Song - The Gate Ajar

John 10:9  I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Free Coloring Page - Stained Glass "Window"

I am starting something new that I hope will be enjoyable both to you all as well as to me.

I like coloring, but some of the modern adult coloring books are - well, a little too detailed for my eyes.  I get eye strain very easily.  And, if I'm honest, I lack motivation to color all those tiny spaces, although I do enjoy coloring.  I have found that what I do is enjoy making coloring graphics myself, and so far I've enjoyed coloring my own creations (though, I can't say if that will always be the case).

One thing I noticed when I was looking for adult level coloring books online is that it is hard to find ones with Bible verses that only use the King James Version.  Since that is what I wanted specifically, I thought maybe some others would like some coloring pictures with verses too, so mine will emphasize that - though there may be some with quotes from hymns as well if I keep on with this. :-)

This is the first one I plan to share with you all.  It is a stained glass window look.  Yes, those are some black bits scattered around, but I liked the artistic effect of that, so I kept them.  There are two font choices for the verse.  You can download the images to your computer by clicking the links below.  If you have any problems with this please let me know in the comments.

I colored the example at the top of this post with a photo editing program on my computer and you may be able to do the same thing after you download the image to your own computer.

Here is an example that I colored by hand.  As you can see, I didn't finish coloring it.

Note - if you are using alcohol based pens, such as Copic, you need to check out the specs for coloring on things that come from your type of printer.  Some inks from computer printers can apparently damage those type pens because the alcohol dissolves the black ink.

Another one I "colored" on the computer, just to show that you can make all kinds of designs with this particular image. :-)

Enjoy! :-)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Question to Ponder: Do you recognize the power of Satan in people’s lives?

Originally posted Jan. 2012. Edited.

I was working in the kitchen a little while ago, and as I was putting something in the fridge my eye fell on the prayer card we got this week from a missionary to Mexico. There is a verse on it, or rather the first part of a verse - Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God…

I was struck by the marvelous thought of being turned from the power of Satan unto God. This is a wonderful and amazing thing, and in light of things we heard the brother say, it is happening there in Mexico.

But, as my mind meandered along this train of thought, I asked myself in a vague way why it is that American Christians don’t grasp the enormity of being turned from the power of Satan to God for the people around them in their own country and neighborhood. I hope that many see the need for this transformation from the power of Satan to God for people in foreign countries, but why not for the people next door and at the super market and the craft store and at soccer practice, etc.? The thought that came to me was that it is probably because too many of the believers in the U.S. are so immersed in the culture that they fail to see the many things that are really the power of Satan! They don’t see the need for others to be turned from those things because they themselves are following those things or enjoying them also.

Think about it –

How many Christians read books, play games or watch movies and T.V. shows that glamorize death and killing, witchcraft and other satanic things? Yes, I mean Harry Potter, Twilight and other vampire stories, Lord of the Rings, zombies, fairies, Halloween, Warcraft, Game of Thrones, Mafia based games, etc.

How many Christians are addicted to pornography? How many overlook “soft pornography” as incidental or even normal? Do you realize that what is considered “OK” today in television, advertisements, movies, etc. would have been considered pornography not that very long ago? And, in this vein, how many Christian women are addicted to romance novels, even the ones of the grubbier type? (You don’t believe that’s wrong?  I read one secular writer who classed the reaction that women get from reading those stories as a form of sexual arousal. Think carefully and prayerfully, sister. Also see for yourself how easy it is to stop reading them – or to get your friend to stop reading them. That’s a challenge. I dare you.)

How many Christians listen to music that has words, terminology, ideology, etc. that is wicked or lewd or even satanic?

How many Christians participate in events, listen to music, or read things that include defaming of the name of Jesus Christ, blasphemy of God, and ridicule of Christianity, and enjoy it?

How many Christians think that evolution is true, or at least partly true and thus that the Bible is lying in the first part of Genesis and other passages?

How many Christians are caught up in the covetousness of materialism and “the American dream”? How many of us think that if we could just get this or that we would be “happy”? How many assume that we are entitled to certain things in life such as a house, a job, a car, a spouse, kids, fashionable clothes, the newest technological gadget, etc.? You don’t think you’re entitled? Let someone tell you that you can’t have those things and see how you feel. (Ouch. Yes, that hurts because it’s such a “normal” part of American culture. But God says, Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: Colossians 3:5 [Emphasis added])

I could go on, but I think I’ll stop there.

Can you see how hardened we often are to the bondage that people are in? We miss the fact that so many around us need to be turned from the power of Satan to God because we’ve allowed ourselves to accept the thinking that all these things are “normal”. We’ve allowed ourselves to believe that so many things are not “evil” because it isn't “politically correct” or “nice” to think so; or, even worse, because we enjoy them ourselves. We’ve been propagandized to think things are “OK” that really are the power of Satan in people’s lives!

What do you think? Can you see ways in which U.S. Christians (or Christians in other countries) have been affected in their thinking, making them blind to the power of Satan in the lives of people around them, and blind to how they have been influenced by it themselves?

The entire verse that I mentioned above says, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. Acts 26:18

What a wonderful verse! What amazing love and power! How we need to get our vision back for the needy world around us that needs to be turned unto God and light and be delivered from the power of Satan and darkness!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Evening Song - I'm in the Savior's Hand

By the John Marshall Family

John 10:27-30  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Sew Happy Friday - Tutorial for A Fat Quarter Apron

Photo property of Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose.

Today I'm sharing a link to a tutorial by my blogging friend Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose.  She shows us how to make this cute and functional half apron - or whatever you call it where you live. :-)

I am not a half apron person because I tend to get stuff on my upper clothes due to splashes and drips. (I'm pretty messy in the kitchen sometimes!)  My Gramma Hoover only wore half aprons, though, since she mostly seemed to use them to wipe her hands.  So, I'm sure some of my readers will find this a useful apron and I do think it's very cute.

The Fat Quarter Reversible Apron

Note: If you don't like the three dimensional aspect of the shabby roses she uses on hers, sew on some wide ribbon or trim of some sort that you like.  You can take care of the raw edges on the ends (on the sides, really) by tucking them under and top stitching them down. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wonderful Wisteria

This week I'm asking you to visit a blogging friend's page.  She posted this wonderful collection of photographs she took of a wisteria vine.

Debbie's beautiful photos:  Wild, Wonderful Wisteria

Wisteria has sweet associations for me.  My great-grandfather had been a missionary in China and after they had to return to the States for health reasons he made a Chinese garden in their yard where they lived in Michigan.  One thing he grew there - on a trellis over a walkway - was wisteria.  So, my Gramma was always partial to it on that account, and so was my mom, and they passed that on to me. :-)

When my own family lived in Tennessee, we would see wisteria blooming in the wild some years.  I've seen that once here in Texas as well.  It is so lovely to experience in person.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Few Fun Food Poems

Why I wonder
Is a tomato round and red?
Because if it was long and green
It would be a cucumber instead


Divide 18 potatoes among 6 people
The exam question read
Boil them and mash them!
That's what I said.


Celery, raw
Develops the jaw
But celery, stewed
Is more quietly chewed

-Ogden Nash

(Originally published June 2010.)

Sunday, April 17, 2016


The Garden Gate – Vetheuil by Claude Monet


Waiting! Yes, patiently waiting!
Till next steps made plain shall be;
To hear, with the inner hearing,
The Voice that will call for me.

Waiting! Yes, hopefully waiting!
With hope that need not grow dim;
The Master is pledged to guide me,
And my eyes are unto Him.

Waiting! Expectantly waiting!
Perhaps it may be today
The Master will quickly open
The gate to my future way.

Waiting! Yes, waiting! still waiting!
I know, though I’ve waited long,
That, while He withholds His purpose,
His waiting cannot be wrong.

Waiting! Yes, waiting! still waiting!
The Master will not be late:
He knoweth that I am waiting
For Him to unlatch the gate.

by J. Danson Smith

Psalms 27:14  Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Waiting is one of the hardest things we have to do in life.  Waiting on the Lord for some specific indication of what we are supposed to do or where we are supposed to go or whom we are supposed to be with is probably even harder because often we have no idea what is ahead until “the last minute”, so to speak. 

Sometimes we need to be ready to go forward quickly and need to live in readiness of that.  Twice in my life I have started packing up because my family knew we were going to move but we didn’t know when.  Both times I was very thankful because when the door opened it opened suddenly and we would have been in serious trouble if we’d had all the packing to do at the last minute.

Other times, we need to just sit still and be patient.  I was 38 when I got married.  Waiting for the Lord’s time on that was hard – really hard at times.  But, looking back I don’t regret it at all.  I’m so very thankful for the husband that I have, and I would wait for him if I had it to do over and knowing what I know now.  This inactive waiting – in the sense of not going out and solving the situation for ourselves – can happen in many areas of life.

One thing that we sometimes miss in our waiting times is that we are supposed to serve the Lord while we wait.  Waiting doesn’t mean just sitting still and waiting for something to happen.  While we may sometimes be stuck in a situation where we can’t move forward in some area of life, we need to look around and see what God would have us to do while we’re “stuck” where we are.  I have regretted at times that I didn’t find more useful things to do while I was in “waiting” times of my own life.  Nothing is wasted with God.  If He seems to have left you in some spot, there is something you are supposed to be doing there.  If He hasn’t opened a door, there is something you still need to do on this side of it.  And, maybe, just maybe, that is the most important part in the bigger picture of what the Lord is doing.

Instead of feeling like we’re stuck in a waiting place and fretting over that, let’s look around and see what we can do for God while we’re there.  Let’s be about our Father’s business in the place where He has us right now.  We aren’t here by accident, friend.

Psalms 62:5  My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

Psalms 37:7-9  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.  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

Have you ever found something important that you needed to do while you were “waiting”?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Evening Song - Break Up My Fallow Ground

Hosea 10:12  Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

The John Marshall Family.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Kitchen Tip – The Dating Game

(First published Oct. 2011.)

My mom has had a habit of keeping leftovers too long sometimes, as did her mother before her and her mother before her.  After one “incident” when this didn’t work out well for my dad, he suggested that we start dating every container of leftovers before we put them in the fridge so that we would know how long they had been in there.  This happened before I got married, but I still try to keep up the habit most of the time since it is very useful to know exactly how old something is!  You just can’t remember all that stuff if you have any decent sized collection of leftovers.

As you can see from the photo, I use a part of a sticky note and put the date on it.  Sometimes they do fall off of some lids because of the texture of the plastic.  In the case of glass storage dishes with plastic lids I often put the label on the side of the dish because it sticks better to the glass.

This not only helps you not to feed your family food that is too old, but it also helps you to use up the older things first, thus giving some added direction to the usage of leftovers.  And, I admit, upon occasion I have found some things in my fridge that were way too old to be used!  :-)

By the way, the sticky notes also work for putting food in the freezer.  However, I suggest you use a piece of tape to make sure it stays on, and also add the contents as well as the date with the year so that you know what it is and how long it’s been in there.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Thoughts from the Past - Fat, Fruitful and Flourishing

(Photo taken in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee.)

First published July 2010.  Edited.

Psalm 92:12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; 15 To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

J. Vernon McGee had a few useful sayings. One of them was something to the effect that “It’s not how a man starts his life that counts. It’s how he ends it.”

The above verses support that thinking. The righteous are compared to trees, and are said to be planted in the house of the Lord. We might say today that they are planted in the Lord’s ways and word since we no longer have a geographical “holy place” (John 4:21-24) and are in fact the “house of God” ourselves (1 Cor. 3:16, 1 Peter 2:5).

This is not a literal thought – we aren’t excused for being literally fat in our old age if we’re still “bearing fruit”. (For one thing, if you make the fat literal you will need to make the fruit literal and that could get a bit awkward at some point.)  The idea is of trees that are big, healthy and fruitful even to a ripe, old age. Thinking of trees in old age we think of trees that are large in girth, perhaps tall; and healthy trees will still be bearing fruit. Perhaps it is a big, old pecan tree that is still producing nuts or a huge avocado tree that is still bearing fruit.

The reason that these “trees” are still fruitful is because they have their roots in the right place – the place of growth, as it were. A couple other passages of scripture come to mind.

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

When we keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 1:21), and, thus, in the source of the water of life, we should exhibit this flourishing fruitfulness into old age. Our “trunk”, as it were, will not become decayed. There will not be dry rot, nor hollow centers as some old trees develop. And, there will be a continuation of the fruitfulness – spiritually. I think of a very old, gnarled apple tree on an old semi-abandon farm where the roots are still in good soil; and the tree, though broken and twisted by the hardships of life, with what strength it has left is producing apples – fruit.

I’m also reminded of this verse, Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

It's how we end that counts. And, there is a very important reason for ending well. As our starting passage says, To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. Psalm 92:15

In the end, it’s all about glorifying the LORD!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Evening Song - Take Time to Be Holy

2 Peter 3:10-11  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Monthly Challenge - April 2016

Well, it's April already!  One quarter of the year is gone.  But, Spring has come or is coming is many places on the Northern Hemisphere, and in the Southern they are feeling autumn - at least where they have such a thing.

This month's challenge will be about nature and routines.


Slow down and take the time to really look at nature.  Enjoy whatever is available where you live.


Simplify your routine or schedule in some way.


This challenge may be just a little harder than it sounds.

I was walking outside this last week, and by not going quite so fast I noticed that I could look around me more and enjoy the beauties of God's creation.  In most places these days there is something that can be enjoyed from nature, even if it's just the fruit and vegetable section of the local supermarket or a patch of sky. :-)  Genesis 1:31  And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good...

Simplifying our routines may prove somewhat challenging, but the point here is to remove the pointless. :-)  We all fall into habits that are not terribly useful, productive or restful which we could just stop if we're honest with ourselves.  I already deleted two game apps on my cell phone.  One I played quite a bit and the other almost never.  The one was taking up too much time and I thought I could re-appropriate those bits of time to something more beneficial in the long run - such as reading or even writing.  I have a theory that mindless games don't really help the brain in a positive way, even when problem solving is involved.  For my own part I have found myself being frustrated by the game and how does that make a positive contribution to my life?  It doesn't.  So.

(I did keep two games, which I play sometimes, because they are not of the addictive or demanding type and I get bored with them fairly quickly.  I consider these types to be "safer" for long term use. :-)  )

What  could you get rid of from your schedule?  There is a lot of scope for the imagination in this.  It could be something significant that you haven't wanted to acknowledge - the time hog of sports (adult or children's), the too-involved hair and makeup routine, the daily texting or chatting with "friends" who don't really care all that much, the "looking" at the grocery store that isn't actually part of the needed shopping, the piano lessons for the child that is totally not into it, etc.  Or it could be something fairly simple that you just realize is non-essential and dispensable - meticulously folding laundry that could be stored more simply, making complicated recipes, trying to keep alive a house plant that really doesn't want to live, etc.  The idea is to try to use that time for something of more value - realizing that more value may be a nap, pleasure reading, playing with the kids, or some other simple thing you "don't have time for" now. :-)  Maybe it would be a walk outside to enjoy nature.  Of course, if it's simply absorbed into your other usual things, that's fine too.  You've still simplified your life a little.

1 Corinthians 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Jesus Way - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

The Jesus Way

Oh, there's many a thorn on the Jesus-way,
Many a thorn, I know;
There is grief and loss and the pain of a cross
Wherever my feet may go.
But the Lord will heal all the wounds that I feel,
When the thorns have pricked me sore,
And He's planted a rose where the brier grows,
For He's walked this path before.

There is many a storm on the Jesus-way,
Many a storm I see,
When black is the cloud and the wind is loud
And the waves go over me.
But the Lord Himself is in my little ship
And the storm obeys His will;
At the word He hath said - "Be not afraid"
My heart and the sea grow still.

There is many a foe on the Jesus-way,
Many a foe to fight,
And all the day I must watch and pray
To keep my armour bright.
But the Lord is ever at my side
The tempter's wiles to meet;
Though the foe be strong and the strife be long,
[Jesus] never knows defeat.

Annie Johnson Flint

Matthew 28:20  ...lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Hebrews 13:5  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Evening Song - 'Tis So Sweet to Trust In Jesus

Proverbs 3:5-7  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Just for Fun - A Birthday Concert

Today is my birthday. :-)

True story - I was born during the worst snow storm of that winter (yes, April can be a winter month in Western Michigan).  My parents pulled onto the main highway into town right behind the snow plow and followed it to the city limits where it turned around and headed back the other way.  But the hospital was right there, so they could pull straight into the parking lot.  The Lord sent the snow plow through just at the perfect time! :-)

Just because...

Friday, April 1, 2016

From Mom's Collection - April by Naomi Loomis

I found this poem among Mom's saved collection.  It was written in my Gramma Hoover's handwriting.  :-)

Sweet memories.


April stood on tiptoe in the highest apple tree --
A most audacious little Redbird kept her company --
And, as she scrubbed the grimy sky, he chattered in her ear...

Continue Reading.