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Friday, June 30, 2017

Sew Happy Friday - Patchwork Shower Curtain

Photo property of Better Homes and Gardens

Here are the instructions for this pretty patchwork shower curtain. This would be a great way to add color to a dull bathroom. Also, the curtain without the plastic shower liner could be used for a light weight, colorful curtain at a sliding glass door or large window. (You would need to adjust the size appropriately.) By the way, this would be a nice way to use up some larger scraps of fabric leftover from other projects.

GO HERE for instructions.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Did You Meme That? # 4 - Weak or Strong

"The weak fall, but the strong will remain and never go under." 
Attributed to Anne Frank

One of the problems with using quotes is that it is easy to take something out of its context and make it say something that perhaps the original author did not mean. I do not know the context of this quote by Anne Frank. I don't even know if she actually said it. But, in this stripped down form cut loose from its anchor of context, this statement is very misleading and worldly in its apparent meaning, regardless of what Anne may or may not have meant.

In the first place, even in the secular world it is a fact that sometimes the weak come out on top despite the fact that they are weak, and sometimes the strong fail despite the fact that they are strong. Solomon said it like this, "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all." Ecclesiastes 9:11

This is often how life is. Just because someone seems to be favored to come out on top because of their skill or experience or knowledge, it does not necessarily follow that they will come out on top. Also, many people who are weak, ignorant, foolish, etc. become highly successful in some area because of a fluke or by chance of birth or accident.

But, speaking from the point of view of those who fear God and follow His ways, there is even more to this.

King David wrote this:

Psalms 37:34-40  Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.  Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace. But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble. And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

As I hope you know, Anne Frank was a Jewish girl who lived under and was killed by the Nazis. She had much to think about in relation to being weak or strong. Sadly, I do not know that she ever came to a knowledge of true salvation in the Messiah, Jesus Christ. But, the thing is, that for those who trust in the Lord as their salvation, He will not only be our strength in times of trouble, but ultimately we will be delivered from the wicked, even if we die at their hands in this life, as Anne and her sister did. Because we are eternal and He gives us eternal life, whatever the apparent outcome on this earth, we will see the wicked pass away and our eternal end will be peace. The wicked, on the other hand, will come to destruction eventually, particularly in the horrible eternity that they will someday live.

The apostle Paul wrote this:

2 Corinthians 12:9-10  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

It is through our very weakness that God is able to show Himself strong, both to us and to those around us. We may actually take pleasure in our weakness on Christ's account because He will be glorified in showing His strength through us. This is an amazing and wonderfully comforting thought.

The world we live in admires strong people, well people, successful people, rich people, influential people, and so on. But, the Lord wants to show the perfection of His power through our weakness and our lack.

In the context of this passage Paul is speaking of physical illness or ailment in particular, but he also includes other forms of suffering (other than those we inflict upon ourselves through sin). This should be something that we look to for comfort in dealing with the many and sometimes burdensome limitations that we struggle with in this life. Ultimately, they are opportunities for God to show His power through us. In thinking about what David wrote, we also see that through trusting in the Lord we can expect His deliverance in the end, even if it is not in this life.

Ephesians 6:10-13  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

We need to look to the Lord for the strength and power we need to stand in against the wiles of the devil. I see a lot of people getting confused about who their real enemies are. They are often looking an humans, government, organizations, "secret societies", etc. and thinking those are the enemy. The context of these verse indicates that those are not the enemy because they are "flesh and blood," and our enemies are all spiritual entities and powers. This is what we need to particularly remember. The power behind those people is the real power that is at work. They are merely dispensable pawns in a supernatural battle between the Lord God Almighty and the devil. We, on the other hand, are the beloved and treasured children of the Lord, joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and therefore we can count on Him to show His perfect strength through us, despite our weakness.

Does that not fill you with wonder? Why would God, the Creator of everything who has all power in heaven and earth, choose to show His inexhaustible strength through us? I don't know why. But He does.

Psalms 18:1  I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

Isaiah 40:28-31  Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Evening Song - Oh, I Want to See Him

2 Corinthians 5:8  We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

Philippians 1:23-24  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

These men appear to sing the second verse first, so I reversed the order for your convenience. They don't sing the third verse.

When in service for my Lord dark may be the night,
But I’ll cling more close to Him, He will give me light;
Satan’s snares may vex my soul, turn my thoughts aside;
But my Lord goes ahead, leads whate’er betide.

Oh, I want to see Him, look upon His face,
There to sing forever of His saving grace;
On the streets of glory let me lift my voice,
Cares all past, home at last, ever to rejoice.

As I journey through the land, singing as I go,
Pointing souls to Calvary—to the crimson flow,
Many arrows pierce my soul from without, within;
But my Lord leads me on, through Him I must win.

When in valleys low I look toward the mountain height,
And behold my Savior there, leading in the fight,
With a tender hand outstretched toward the valley low,
Guiding me, I can see, as I onward go.

When before me billows rise from the mighty deep,
Then my Lord directs my bark; He doth safely keep,
And He leads me gently on through this world below;
He’s a real Friend to me, oh, I love Him so.

- Rufus H. Cornelius

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Few Things from My Dad

Since last Sunday was Father's Day here in the U.S., I thought it would be interesting to share a few things written by my dad that I hope you might enjoy.

My parents attended a missionary boarding school when they were growing up in East Africa. They had a lot of experiences there that were unique to that type of environment. My dad, being of the prankster temperament, made quite a few of those unique experiences for himself. We grew up listening to these stories and we never got tired of them.

The Night the Donkey Came to Pray - This one is a particular favorite because my mom was involved in the situation, albeit in a non-active sense.

My dad is also a poet. Among my earliest memories is him singing "The Fox" to me. It is a long poem, but he learned the whole thing, more or less, and he would sing it from start to finish for us when I would ask him to "Sing us the fox song, Daddy."

Well, my dad also sometimes writes his own poetry, and here is one of them:
Musings from My Front Porch - My dad wrote this when we lived in Tennessee. The photo is of the very porch he was sitting on. :-) The shed and house in the distance is Charlotte's place as well.

Last but not least, my dad is a Christian. He was a missionary for a short time during my early life and later a pastor for much longer. Some years ago he wrote this study on the Gospel of John to help people know for sure if they are truly born again or not. Because of this page, my dear friend Theresa came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior after living most of her life thinking she was saved when, in fact, she was not. [Read Theresa's story here.] I am very thankful that the Lord used my own dad to bring her to a realization that she did not understand the Gospel and what it really meant to be born again, and that because of that she eventually came to true salvation. I hope that it has helped others and that it will continue to do so.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Sunday, June 18, 2017

When I Think of Thee - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

Psalm 63:5-6 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

There is so much drama and confusion and struggle in life these days. This particular poem has been a comfort to me at various time, so I wanted to share it with you here.

When I Think of Thee

When I think of just myself and my little cares,
Looming large and crowding close, hindering my prayers,
Of my weakness and my sins, I am sore depressed;
Weary, weary grows my thought; I can find no rest.
When I think upon the world and its many woes -
Hunger, misery and crime - how the long list grows!
Greed and hatred and unrest, strifes that never cease,
Weary, weary grows my thought; I can find no peace.

When I meditate on Thee and Thy works, O Lord,
On Thy strength and majesty, on Thy changeless word;
On Thy Steadfast faithfulness, reaching to the sky;
On Thy patient, watchful care over such as I;
On Thine everlasting love, high and strong and deep;
On Thy wisdom and Thy truth and Thy power to keep;
When I think of what Thou art and what Thy power has done;
When I number all the gifts given in Thy Son --
I forget the things that pass in the things that bide,
And my soul can rest in peace, fed and satisfied.

Annie Johnson Flint

Photo by Mary E. Stephens

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Evening Song - I Am not Ashamed

Romans 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

1 John 2:28  And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

The John Marshall Family

Friday, June 16, 2017

Sew Happy Friday - Hanging Kitchen Towel Tutorials

Here are two tutorials for those kitchen hand towels that have a hanging tab at the top which folds over and buttons. I am giving you two different ones because each lady covers some aspect that the other didn't go into thoroughly enough, in my opinion. Between the two you should be able to get the whole picture quite nicely, plus there are two different options for the top part. :-)

Below is the tutorial from the Fat Quarter Shop, and here is the link to get the pattern for the hanging fold over part.

Below is the tutorial from Vanessa, the Crafty Gemini, and here is the link to her pattern for the hanging fold over part.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Meanwhile Elsewhere - When It Isn't Safe to Be White

Here is another post in the "Elsewhere" series - for your information and to help you appreciate what our fellow believers, as well as the non-believers, in other parts of the world live with in their daily lives.

1 Timothy 6:9-10  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Today is International Albinism Day. In keeping with this, here is a link to an article that tells about the very frightening existence that people with albinism live in some African countries - especially Tanzania.

The reason they are is so much danger is because the witch doctors have claimed that body parts, and indeed the whole bodies, of these people have potent magical powers and they will pay fabulous sums of money (by African standards) for those body parts. Many of them have been attacked or threatened due to this, and for the safety of the children, many have been removed to "safe places" to try to protect them from this.

Here is an article at the National Geogrpahic site gives a detailed account of this, along with discussing a little of the experiences of others in places less violent, and one place where there is no violence because the genetic difference is so common.

As usual, disclaimer on some content.

For Them, Being Pale Can Bring Scorn, Threats, and Worse [Note: If you load this page more than once it may ask you to subscribe. One or two loadings should allow you to read it.]

This photo of a Tanzanian witch doctor who has been handling the carcass of a goat, was taken by my grandfather around 1950.

My own parents and grandparents saw albino Africans when they were living in East Africa. At the time and place where they were there was apparently not as much stigma on these people, which may have been due to the presence of more missionaries who would have explained the causes.

Acts 26:16-18  But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 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.

The preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ and salvation through faith in Him brings freedom from this kind of superstition and devilish activity. This in turn changes the lives of the others as well and ultimately will change a culture if there is enough "salt" present in the lives of believers and the church. Indeed, some cultures have been drastically changed through the power of the gospel. May God grant this for Tanzania. The lust for money and the power of Satan is strong in East Africa, and indeed in all of Africa quite likely, and it is exceedingly destructive.  These evils, and many others, are the result of greed and spiritual darkness.

In the Western world we too often don't appreciate the terrible darkness and power that this kind of superstition has over a people or nation. While there is certainly devilish activity around us in many ways, the darkness of these things is something that penetrates people's minds and the whole culture. If you wish to learn more about this in a historical sense (that still reflects today in many ways), I recommend getting the Jungle Doctor books by Paul White. They are very informative missionary stories, and they give a lot of insight into this without being gruesome or excessive (they were written for children or families).

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Is The Duggar Position On Birth Control Biblical?

Philippians 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.

Here is an article I wrote addressing the issue of the Duggars' view on birth control. In the economy of God, it does not matter what people think about these issues, no matter how spiritual and godly they present themselves and their position. What really matters is what the Bible says and whether their reasoning holds up to the test of biblical principles and teaching.


When someone, no matter how "wise" they appear, starts to promote various extreme ways to humble the flesh that are not clearly commanded to the church, it's time to step back and reconsider what they are doing. Frankly there is no clear scripture, especially for N.T. believers, that makes it "wicked" to use non-life-threatening forms of pregnancy prevention (known as birth control to the world).

Read More.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Evening Song - It Is Well with My Soul

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.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Writing Challenge #6

Ecclesiastes 12:12  And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

It's time for another writing challenge! I haven't even gotten the May challenge done yet (ack!), but I'm hoping to soon.

This month I thought it would be interesting to think about something we enjoyed reading.


Write about a book that you especially like.


This is not a "book report" in the strict sense. Discuss the feeling, emotions, lessons, etc., but if the book has a plot, try not to give spoilers that may ruin it for others. If you do write about the plot or give away "surprises" give a spoiler alert to warn your readers. :-)

For those among us who do book reviews often, this won't be a challenge, but for those of us who do not, this should stretch us a little. But that is the beauty of these challenges, some will fit our style more closely, but others will stretch us; and what stretches one person will not necessarily do so for another.


Sunday, June 4, 2017

Did You Meme That? # 3 - Casual Faith

"I believe the time is coming when we will not be able to take our Christianity as casually as we do now."  A. W. Tozer

The time to stop taking our faith (Christianity) casually is now. It was time when Tozer said this. There are American Christians who keep talking about the coming persecution and the imagined present persecution here (so puny as it is), but they sit and smile and give their approval as the devil literally devours them and their churches with Emergent, post-modern, New Age, Roman Catholic, mystical, Pharisaical, and/or humanistic teaching.

The time is not coming.

The time to "earnestly contend for the faith...once delivered" is now! It has been since Jude wrote those words.

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Jude 1:3-4  Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Evening Song - What Manner of Man Is This?

Matthew 8:26-27  And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

John 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Sew Happy Friday - An Easy Four Patch Lattice Quilt Block Tutorial

Here is a short tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Co. showing how to make a lattice four patch block. This could be a good way make a scrappy quilt with a variety of 5" squares, or smaller or larger squares. As you will note in the last image, the points may not all come together neatly in the centers of the blocks. If this is a problem to you, you may want to try another pattern, or find a way to make it work out better. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Texas Memories - A Yellow Rose In Texas

Photo by Elisabeth M. Used by permission.

Isaiah 35:1-2  The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.