Hello and welcome!

Welcome! This blog is an extension of The Home Maker's Corner. Here I share thoughts, Bible studies, recipes, music, photography, art, home decor, crafts, and more. I hope you enjoy it!
All photos used on this blog are taken by me or my family unless otherwise noted. Regarding use of content: please see "the fine print" at the bottom of this page.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Cult Next Door - A Documentary on Bill Gothard and the Institute of Basic Life Principles

This is a short documentary on a very large subject. Having done some of my own research on this as well as reading things others have written, listening to the experiences of others (both positive and negative), and watching the Duggar's shows and also one or two video exposes, I feel that it is an important subject to address. Bill Gothard's teachings have wormed their way into Christendom in many areas and ways that many of us are not even aware of. People from almost every Christian denomination and cult have attended his seminars at some point and carried his teachings back with them, thus spreading ideologies and beliefs that appear biblical on the surface but most definitely are not.

Clear back in the 1970s my own dad rejected the teachings of Bill Gothard because of the fact that his brother who was living in gross sexual sin assisted in writing the early materials, but when he was exposed for his sin the book(s) was not pulled back and re-examined and rewritten. Bill Gothard chose to continue using material written with assistance from a man who was living in significant defeat in the very areas that Gothard was so interested in - sexual purity, character, authority, etc.

Furthermore, while there is nothing wrong with a single man doing some teaching on the family and marriage and raising children (the apostle Paul did), it is completely unbiblical for a single man to become an expert, a spiritual authority so highly esteemed, whose words are followed so religiously. In the position into which he has pushed himself with his claims to have the "perfect plan" for having a perfect godly family ("perfect plans" dependent upon a man's teaching are always a big red flag), he absolutely should have been the husband of one wife. Based on the exposure of his sexual harassment of young women who worked for him at his headquarters, we might wonder if he had entirely honorable motives in his choosing to never marry.

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife...

Titus 1:6-7 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless...

Mr. Gothard is disqualified on more than one point here. He is not blameless, nor is he the husband of one wife.

The Cult Next Door (Official Short Film) from Youngman Films on Vimeo.

For more information on this please visit:


The Wartburg Watch: Category Bill Gothard

   Specifically: Bill Gothard's Umbrella of Protection

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Indwelling Christ - by Martha Snell Nicholson

Years ago when my family was visiting the home of an elderly couple in Massachusetts, the lady handed me a small pot and told me that it had been excavated from Hebron in Israel and was dated from the time when David had his capitol city there before it was moved to Jerusalem. I didn't want to hold it because it was obviously something of great value. But, it was hard to get my head around the thought that this little piece of pottery was something so old and had been in use when Kind David was a young king. This poem reminds me a little of that. In a small way, I can relate to Mrs. Nicholson's experience.


The Indwelling Christ

It was an ancient copper plate which stirred me so,
Made in Jerusalem two thousand years ago.
I trembled strangely as I held it in my hands,
And thought of how my Lord lived in those far-off lands;
And then I wondered, breathless, if perhaps He ate
When at the home of friends, from off this self-same plate!
And at the very thought my hands drew back, for such
My hushed and holy awe, it seemed my lightest touch
Profaned . . . And yet there is a mystery so deep
That often in the night hours, when I ponder sleep
Forsakes my eyelids, time is lost and space is gone.

My spirit and my flesh, mysterious two-in-one,
Forever bound together! This my flesh has been
At sundry times, in sundry ways, at once my bane
And my delight, my cross, my joy. And yet, the door
Is locked and bolted, and the soul grows lonely, for
The body is a prison where the spirit lives
Alone through all of life, and only death’s hand gives
Release to it at last and sets that spirit free.
Yet to the child of God — ah, here the mystery! —
Comes One who knocks and enters. Nevermore alone,
The spirit has a sweet Companion now!

O blessed One,
Though pain has twisted me, and care has lined my brow,
This flesh of mine is Thy most holy temple now,
And when I touch my hand I touch Thy dwelling place!
May I so live that those who look upon my face
May find Thy radiance shining there, that they may see
Not my poor flesh, but Thee, my Lord, but only Thee!

- Martha Snell Nicholson

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Evening Song - Blessed Redeemer

Isaiah 47:4 As for our redeemer, the LORD of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel. 

John 1:36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! 

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Thoughts from the Past -- Sins of the Youth

Oct. 27, 2006 Sins of the Youth Edited 2012 and '18. 
Jeremiah 31:18 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the LORD my God. 19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.

I came across this passage not long ago and was struck by a couple of different things in it. namely, the the progression of it and how that brings us to bemoan the sins of our youth.

We are born wanting our own way. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way... Isaiah 53:6 Our parents start training us, hopefully from an early age, that we cannot have our own way in all things. We are unaccustomed to this yoke and chastisement. We have to be turned into an orderly and appropriate way. Eventually, many of us come to see how things we thought we wanted in our youth or thought we just "had to have" were not good for us or would have had very unpleasant results. Too often we learn by personal experience.

In a way, the same thing happens spiritually when we are saved. The Lord chastises us to bring us into ways that are right and pleasing to Him (Heb. 12). At first we are very happy to be saved, but as the Lord grows us we begin to experience things that we are unaccustomed to it at first.  Christ Jesus' yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 11:30), but we still sometimes resist it. We are turned into His paths and ways and are instructed by the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth (John 16:13) (which is through the word of God, by the way, John 17:17). Through this we repent and turn from our foolish habits and sins.

But, we come to a point where we are ashamed of the sins of our youth. For the Christian there are often things that we are greatly ashamed of, or even confounded by from the sins of our youth. Some things may never be erased from our minds in this life.  Some things cannot be retrieved and we must take responsibility for them or deal with the scars for the rest of our lives.

David prayed, Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD. Psalm 25:6-7

David was a man after God's own heart (Acts 13:22), and yet he had sins of his youth which reproached him. His desire was that God would not remember those sins and that He would instead remember him in His mercy for His goodness' sake. Sweet and precious thought for us, for none of us are better than David. Yet, we too can pray this of God, and we can do so through Jesus Christ!

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

(Also see the article: Forgiven.)

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The New Prayer - Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

The New Prayer

Long have I prayed this prayer to Thee -
According to my need, give me
A little strength from day to day,
A little light along the way,
A little trust when fears are nigh,
A little peace when waves run high,
And with Thy love and joy fill up
The blessing in my little cup.

So have I prayed for long, but now -
According to Thy grace, give Thou!
Of my small measure take no heed,
Above, around my puny need
Pour out the treasures of Thy good,
Let Thy great goodness, like a flood,
My meager life fill and o'erflow
Till I unto Thy gifts shall grow,
Give joy exceeding all I sought,
And love beyond mine utmost thought;
Thy riches for my poverty,
According to Thy grace, give me.

Annie Johnson Flint

Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 

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. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Evening Song - Sweet Hour of Prayer

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

1 Thessalonians 5:25 Brethren, pray for us.

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Sew Happy Friday - Vintage Doilies Made into a Banner or Garland - Tutorial

Do you have vintage doilies that you like but don't enjoy having them out because they make extra work for you? Here is a clever way to make them into a banner that can be hung up for decoration. You could use this all the time, or you could use it for parties or celebrations. Do be sure to sew the cut edges very well so they don't come apart. :-)

Vintage Doily Banner

Thanks to Lauren at My Wonderfully Made for this pretty project.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Thousand Word Project - Temporary Splendor

Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What Is Your Excuse?

The excuse: "I am not so bad."
God's Answer: Romans 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 

The excuse: "I have never hurt anyone in my whole life."
God's answer: James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body...James 3:6-8 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 

The excuse: "I mean well. I'm really good at heart."
God's answer: Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

The excuse: "I am as good as a lot of Christians and church members I know."
God's answer: Psalm 14:2-3 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

The excuse: "I am a member of such-and-such church. God and I have an understanding."
God's answer: John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 

The excuse: "I will live the way I want to now and take my chances later."
God's answer: Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. 

The excuse: "I want to be saved, but not today."
God's answer: Proverbs 27:1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

The excuse: "I would like to be saved, but I don't know how."
God's answer: Romans 10:8-11 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. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 

- Original idea copied. Edited.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Evening Song - Blessed Name of Jesus

Philippians 2:8-11 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The John Marshall Family

Sunday, July 8, 2018

That will Be Heaven for Me - A Poem

That Will Be Heaven for Me

I know not the hour when my Lord will come
To take me away to His own dear home;
But I know that His presence will lighten the gloom,
And that will be glory for me.

I know not the song that the angels sing,
I know not the sound of the harps' glad ring;
But I know there'll be mention of Jesus our King,
And that will be music for me.

I know not the form of my mansion fair,
I know not the name that I then shall bear;
But I know that my Saviour will welcome me there,
And that will be heaven for me.

By J. McGranahan

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: 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Evening Song - I'll Live In Glory

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Thousand Word Project - Golden Glory

Psalms 84:11  For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Signs that You Are No Longer A Kid

The artist's family in the garden. Claude Monet


You're asleep, but others worry that you're dead.

Your back goes out more than you do.

You quit trying to hold your stomach in.

You buy a GPS for the dash of your car.

You have an opinion on Home Owner's Associations.

You are proud of your lawn mower.

You sing along with the elevator music.

You would rather go to work than stay home sick.

You constantly talk about the price of healthcare or polotics.

You enjoy hearing about other people's operations or birthings.

You consider coffee one of the most important things in life.

You make an appointment to see the dentist.

You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

You know what time the garbage truck and the mail comes.

Neighbors borrow your tools or books.

People call at 9 p.m. and ask, "Did I wake you?"

You answer a question with, "because I said so!"

You take a metal detector to the beach.

You wear socks with sandals.

You know what the word "equity" means.

You can't remember the last time you laid on the floor.

Your ears are hairier than your head.

You get into a heated discussion about Health Savings Accounts.

You got cable for the weather channel.

You got on the internet so you could share photos of your kids or see photos of your grandchildren.

-- Original author unknown. Edited.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Book Review: For One Moment

Art by James Archer.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 

Partial spoiler alert. This summary of the plot does not spoil the whole story by any means, but it may remove some of the surprises for you.

For One Moment

By Christmas Carol Kauffman

Rated: Hard to put down. Highly recommended

This book is based upon the true life story of Herbe Englehardt, a German who grew up in the Weimer Republic and cast his lot with the Nazis when they came to power. Through the confusion of his father's divorce (when it was still a great shame), rejection by his stepmother, unhappiness, the deep sorrow of death and separation from those he loved, he arrived at the beginning of the Nazi era with a great need for something to hold on to. A patriotic zeal for Hitler and Nazism answered this deep longing. Hitler virtually became his god. When the Nazis fell Herbe's life was shattered.

This story clearly shows the tender leading by God of a soul from darkness to the glorious light of Jesus Christ. This eventually brings joy, triumph over old hurts, and healing to other hearts as well.

One of the amazing aspects of this story is how the Lord protected Herbe through his life till he was able to hear, understand, and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It argues a good case for predestination and free will at the same time.

Another thing that encouraged me in this story was one of the couples who witnessed to Herbe. They were Christians, Lutherans, who survived the dangerous Nazi regime while still quietly sharing their faith, belief of the Bible, and love for God. This book is an encouragement in a time when so much uncertainty about the future faces many believers. God is able to keep His children. We must trust His wisdom to determine how to best use us in these perilous times. Many Christians died at the hands of the Nazis and others. Many did not. This book gives a small glimpse of how life was for the Christian survivors.

The verse for this book might be: Philippians 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

This book may be purchased here.
[Not an affiliate link.]

Comments on the author:

Mrs. Kauffman was a Mennonite writer. She chronicled several true life stories of people who eventually became Mennonites and also wrote some fiction along those lines. However, for the most part I have not found her strongly promoting Mennonite doctrines in general, which makes her books much more useful to the church in general.

She is a good writer and we have had more than one person tell us, "I couldn't put the book down."

Note: Though the stories are gripping, there are no overly gruesome scenes that I recall. She had a good sense of what was appropriate.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Evening Song - Be Thou My Vision

 Psalm 73:25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The City of Gold - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

The City of Gold

There is a wondrous city, beautiful, bright and fair;
The throne of God is in it and the glory of God is there.
And oh, the joy of knowing, as the Lord's redeemed can know,
While through the tribulations of the earthly life they go,
There shall be no more toiling; there shall be no more care;
There shall be no more burdens, grievous and hard to bear;
There shall be no more crying, hunger, thirst, or fears;
There shall be no more heartache, through the eternal years!

And in the wondrous city there shall be no more night;
Forever and forever the Lamb shall be its light;
And oh, the joy of knowing, as the Lord's redeemed can know,
While through the dark and dangers of the earthly life they go,
There shall be no more trouble; there shall be no more wrong;
There shall be no more sighing, stilling the glory-song;
There shall be no more sorrow, for God shall dry all tears;
There shall be no more sinning, through the eternal years!

Blessed are they who love Him and they who keep His Word;
They shall enter into the city to dwell in the house of the Lord;
And oh, the joy of knowing, as the Lord's redeemed can know,
While often sad and lonely, through this earthly life they go,
There shall be no more sickness; there shall be no more pain;
There shall be no more parting, loved from the loved again;
There shall be no more weeping, kneeling beside earth's biers;
There shall be no more dying, through the eternal years!

Annie Johnson Flint

 Revelation 22:3-5 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 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.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Sunday, June 17, 2018

What Though The Accuser Roar - A Poem by Whitlock Gandy

Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 

What Though the Accuser Roar

What though th' accuser roar
Of ills that I have done!
I know them well, and thousands more:
Jehovah findeth none.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Evening Song - Soldiers of Christ, Arise

Ephesians 6:13-17 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. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

FREE Scripture Graphic - Pray Without Ceasing

Here is another remake of a vintage graphic that I did. I got the original graphic somewhere online and I made some changes and added the verse. You can save the image from here, or you can go over and download it here. (Use the download button in the lower right corner.) 

I do not think this will be a good size for printing if you save it from here, it would probably only be good for using online. If you wish to use this online, please do not link to the graphic from either of my locations. Save it to your own computer and then upload it to the place where you store graphics online for you own use. Thank you. 

[Note: It's ok to link from here only if you are sharing the link to this specific post on my blog - either on your own blog or in social media. :-) ]


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Book Review - Far from Rome, Near to God

"Young Lady Reading" by Mary Cassatt

John 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Here is a book review my husband wrote back before we were married and which I previously published on The Home Maker's Corner.

Those of us who have lived our lives under the ideal of freedom of thought and belief, may find it hard to understand the bondage that accompanies the belief system of the Roman Catholic Church. In modern times and in some places that church has conformed herself to the environment and so some people now think that it is changed and that there is more freedom and truth there than there once was. The reason for this is that the ways of a harlot church are to conform herself to people's expectations in order to deceive people into joining her. The scripture says, speaking of a strange woman in Proverbs 5:6,  Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. This book shows that, though there is an outward appearance of freedom and liberty now in some ways, the bondage is still there. If some Catholics don't feel its power, or manage to escape it, it is either ignorance or because they are not fully subjected to her most dangerous doctrines.

Not long ago I talked to a lady who grew up in the Roman Catholic Church and in a community dominated by it in Massachusetts. She confirmed the power to bring people into bondage, even in the U.S. and in modern times. As a girl and young lady, she realized something was wrong and as soon as she could leave it, she did. She spoke of it as one would of a great escape. And indeed, it is.

Please don't be fooled into thinking that these things are no longer an issue or that it has changed. The fact that it appears to have changed while maintaining its power, core doctrines, and hierarchy only proves that there is great deception there. I really recommend this book for anyone who is in doubt of that.

Far From Rome, Near to God

Testimonies of Fifty Converted Roman Catholic Priests
Edited by Richard Bennette and Martin Buckingham

Rated: Useful - for distribution to people in Catholicism or ignorant of the bondage and futility of the Roman church. Encouraging for believers.

Guest post by Peter Stephens

...I have read part way through it, reading a little every night. It is encouraging to read the testimonies of salvation and it is interesting to meditate on the common threads of them. The men who were saved consistently started their pilgrimage by fearing God (or at least hell and purgatory) and doing the best they could to earn their salvation. Because of their R[oman] C[atholic] background they each decided that the “priest” was the ultimate example of holiness and good works (or at least their parents thought so). They each became trapped in the bondage of the RC system for many years but were never satisfied for they saw the hypocrisy of Catholicism. They all knew that their good works were not enough to save them from their sins. But by the grace of God they learned the fallacies of their ways. I am reminded of Matthew 7:7-8: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” And every one of the priests left the “church” of Rome.

Nobody is tricked into salvation. Nobody is surprised into being saved. Nobody has earned their salvation. Those who have been born again have sought the Lord and believed his Word and the finished and perfect sacrifice of our Jesus on the cross of Calvary. What a precious gift our Lord has given us!

This book may be purchased at Amazon. Or at this Christian book seller's page.
[These are not affiliate links.]

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Friday, June 8, 2018

Various Things I Want to Mention

Here are a few things that I wanted to let you, my readers, know about.

First, the email from Blogger is not working at present. If you are subscribed to receive my updates in email you are probably not receiving them at this time. Because of that if you want to know what I've posted you'll have to come here to look. Blogger is supposedly fixing the problem, but considering how long it is taking I'm not sure what is going on with that.

We have considered moving this blog to another service, so perhaps this may be the time to make that move. I'm also thinking of making some other changes such as possibly opening a Facebook page specifically for the blog and web site. It seems like a lot of work, so I hesitate over that. On the other hand, I might drop the link ups I've been doing weekly if that brought more readers to this page more effectively. Trying to get the word out while not overworking myself on this is a bit of a challenge. It's about finding the right balance.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that I am planning to take a bit of a break from blogging. I have pre-scheduled posts already and plan to add some more, so hopefully it won't look too terribly different on your end. However, the Sunday posts will likely be shorter. I also may skip the link ups for awhile.

I have other projects I need work on and company coming later this month, Lord willing. Also, there are some things relating to the blog and the web page that could use some attention and I may take some time to work on those. I may even spend some time writing articles ahead if I can get myself motivated for that! :-)

Thank you for your support and interest in this blog. I do appreciate you. :-)

Isaiah 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Thousand Word Project - A Rosy Glow

The Lily Has an Air

The lily has an air,
And the snowdrop a grace,
And the sweetpea a way,
And the heartsease a face, -
Yet there's nothing like the rose
When she blows.

by Christina Georgina Rossetti

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

FREE Scripture Graphic - Psalm 34:2-3 - Lilacs

Here is another vintage graphic that I edited. I got the original graphic somewhere online. I made some changes and added the verse. You can save the image from here, but it will not be very high quality.  You can get it in higher quality if you go over and download it here. (Use the download button in the lower right corner.) 

If you wish to use this online, please do not link to the graphic from either of my locations. Save it to your own computer and then upload it to the place where you store graphics online for you own use. Thank you. 

If you would like a copy of this image without the words so that you can add your own, click here and then follow the same instructions for downloading it.

[Note: It's OK to link the graphic from here only if you are sharing the link to this specific post on my blog - either on your own blog or in social media.] :-)


Sunday, June 3, 2018

Guest Post - Thoughts On Losing A Pet

Stealth in his bed.

My Texas brother and his wife lost one of their kitty cats last weekend after a shortish illness. It was very sad. They did not recognize the symptoms that he had until it was too late to save his little life and he died from what was likely a bacterial infection.

My brother, Mike, wrote about it on his Facebook page, and he gave me permission to share it with my readers here. I found it thought provoking as well as encouraging.


by Mike Van Nattan

So this week we lost one of our kitty's. His name was Stealth and he more than lived up to that name. His ability to walk around without you knowing he was there, or hopping up on the counters without a sound hoping you didn't notice long enough for him to get a few sniffs of whatever was there.

But most importantly, we lost a buddy and a friend. He was the cat that pushed us to move, to get out more, and be more adventurous. The more we took him out, the more he wanted. Being on the water was so natural for him. He was part of the reason we came up with the idea that is now RV Fishing Adventures.

The experience of his death really hit home for me though. I've had a lot of critters through the years, cats, dogs, hamsters, gerbils... but though most of them have died while I owned them, I was never present at the exact moment they died. In this case, I was actually there when his little heart stopped and felt his warm body start to cool down while I sat there and cried.

Then as I sat there, it suddenly hit me why this was so traumatic for me: There is no "hope" in this death. It's all over. He's gone **forever**. His death was a stark picture of what eternal death is like and as having been a Christian since a child, this was a foreign concept for me!

The Bible doesn't promise us anything in regards to animals. A lot of people like to think their critters go to heaven, but this just isn't in the Bible. For me, I've been a Christian most of my life. It seems I've always had a hope for things above. When my grandpa and grandma died, it wasn't death, it was translation. I knew I would see them again someday. There was hope and therefore comfort in their passing. This is what the Bible teaches us for those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation.

But for animals, there are no promises of another life. For animals there is no hope. They are just gone. This is likely the most disconcerting thing about the passing of our late "Stealth Kitty". I will never see him again. There will be no more early morning sessions of him trying to crawl on me while I'm sleeping. There will be no more sleeping in the recliner with a "heating blanket" on my chest. No more nose bumps by a cold nose when you were least expecting it. All of him is gone. Never more to return.

Except the memories. We do have many memories made with the little goober. The pictures here show just a tiny little bit. But we really are glad we did so much recording through the few years we had him.

So why all the depressed talk? Because to me this is a sobering reminder of why I believe in Christ Jesus. Why I believe for those creatures who have souls that there is an afterlife. And why I believe it is so important to know Christ and believe that Christ saves sinners like me.

Yet, not just that, but also that those who do not believe will not simply disappear like my cat, but will go on living eternal death. The Bible teaches that the soul of man doesn't cease to exist. It goes on in either eternal life, or eternal death. The choice is ours to make.

If you're reading this and this bothers you, I encourage you to grab a Bible and read the Gospel of John. The whole thing. Yeah, it's long, but an hour or two of your time is worth it compared to a million years of anguish.

When you get to John 20:31, you'll need to make a decision about what you believe. The verse says: "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." If you can't believe what is written in the book of John, then you too will have no hope of eternal life.

But for those of you who do believe John 20:31, you have an hope that will surely endure. One that will be fulfilled one day. For your loved ones that believe there is an awesome promise of being reunited with them. In fact, there is some indication they are watching us go through our lives.

I pray this is useful to even one person today.


Psalm 92:4 For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. 

My comment: We may have a lot of gladness and pleasure through the works of God's hands in the creation of animals for our enjoyment. But, let's not forget that people are not like animals. When we die we do not cease to exist. We go to heaven or to hell. There is no in-between or alternative place. This is why Today is the day of salvation if you are not born again.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) 

Stealth on the kayak.

Stealth with his buddies, Shadow the Kayak Cat, and my brother, Mike.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Evening Song - O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Matthew 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. 

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Creatures Great and Small - A Sweet Sip


Flutter by,
Floating flower
In the sky.
Kiss me with your
Petal wings—
Whisper secrets,
Tell of spring.

Author Unknown

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Of Teeth and Judging

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Recently something that happened to me years ago came to my mind and I realized it was a parable.

When I was growing up my dad had the idea that dentists promoted 6 month cleanings of teeth because they wanted to make money. He thought that if you brushed and flossed “properly” you didn’t need to have your teeth cleaned very often at all. He was not alone in thinking this. It seemed logical at the time, but I now know that regular professional cleaning does serve a useful purpose.

My family was living at poverty level most of the time back then and had no insurance, so we couldn’t afford to go to the dentist for anything but real issues anyway. Our dentist then was a Christian and did volunteer work in Africa yearly, so he understood people who couldn’t afford much dental care. He was patient and helpful.

It was sometime in my mid-teens when my grandparents were staying with us that I happened to mention to my grandpa that I had trouble cleaning the back of my lower front teeth. I had to scrape them with my fingernail or rub them with a towel to get them to feel clean on the inside. When I told him this he may have questioned me a little, but then his comment was, “It sounds like laziness to me.”

Needless to say, I was hurt. I was trying hard to clean my teeth properly. I felt like I was making an effort, and yet he had judged me of being lazy. (Let me say here that I am not trying to defame my grandpa on this point. We all say things like this from time to time without thinking and he was not one to always respond in this manner.)

Continue Reading.


Vintage graphic: The Graphics Fairy.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Evening Song - He Didn't Turn Away

Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. 

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. 

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Thousand Word Project - Bright Stars

Where innocent bright-eyed daisies are,
With blades of grass between,
Each daisy stands up like a star
Out of a sky of green.

Christina Rossetti

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Just for Fun - Rules for Cats with A House to Run

The photos here are of "Mischief," a cat my brother owned when my family lived in Tennessee.

I do not know who the original author of this is. I have made some additions and edits. Enjoy! :-)


Rules for cats who have a house to run.

I.  DOORS:  Do not allow closed doors in any room. To get door opened, stand on hind legs and scratch with fore-paws while meowing pathetically. Once door is opened, it is not necessary to use it. After you have ordered an "outside" door opened, stand halfway in and halfway out and think about several things. This is particularly important during very cold or hot weather, rain, snow, or mosquito season. Swinging doors are to be avoided at all costs.

II.  CHAIRS AND RUGS:  If you have to throw up, get to a chair quickly. If you cannot manage in time, get to an Oriental rug. If there is no Oriental rug, shag is good. When throwing up on the carpet, make sure you back up so that it is as long as the human's bare foot.

III.  BATHROOMS: Always accompany guests to the bathroom. It is not necessary to do anything -- just sit and stare.

IV.  HAMPERING:  If one of your humans is engaged in some absorbing activity and the other is idle, stay with the busy one. This is called "helping", otherwise known as "hampering." Following are the rules for "hampering":
  a) When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted. Be sure to shriek piteously since humans love to feel guilty.
  b) For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.
  c) For knitting projects or paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner so as to obscure as much of the work as possible, or at least the most important part. Pretend to doze, but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or knitting needles. The worker may try to distract you; ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work. Embroidery and needlepoint projects make great hammocks in spite of what the humans may tell you.
 d) For people paying bills (monthly activity) or working on income taxes or Christmas cards (annual activity), keep in mind the aim -- to hamper! First, sit on the paper being worked on.  When dislodged, watch sadly from the side of the table. When activity proceeds nicely, roll around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability. After being removed for the second time, push pens, pencils, and erasers off the table, one at a time.
 e) When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him/her, be sure to jump on the back of the paper. They love to jump.
 f) When your human is working on a computer try to walk in front of the screen as often as possible. Lie down on the keyboard if you can.
 g) Walk across jig saw puzzles when your feet are damp so as to track as many pieces away from the project as possible. Lie down and roll on it too. Locating the pieces gives the human needed exercise.

 h) If your human sews, hide behind the sewing machine and make grabs at the project as it comes towards you while she/he is sewing. Also, find a nice soft spot in the sewing room on fabric that collects lint easily, then lie there as often as possible so as to cover it with as much cat hair as possible. Leave a fun hairball surprise in a place your human didn't think you could reach.

[Note: This was the basket of clean rags, and she wasn't actually allowed to go outside. :-)  ]

 i) Go outside and role in the dust or get your paws all muddy, then ask to come back inside. Go and lie in a laundry basket of clean clothes or walk across the kitchen counter. Best of all, sneak up between the sheets on the master bed. This makes extra work for your humans which they love.

V.  WALKING: As often as possible, dart quickly and as close as possible in front of the human, especially: on stairs, when they have something in their arms, in the dark, and when they first get up in the morning. This will help their coordination skills.

VI.  BEDTIME: Always sleep on the human at night so s/he cannot move around.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Word of God - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

Psalm 33:8-9 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. 

The Word of God

Though heart grows faint and spirits sink,
By every wind of feeling blown;
Though faith itself may seem to fail,
I rest upon Thy word alone.

That word of power that framed the worlds;
Unfailing, changeless, strong and sure.
Though heaven and earth should pass away,
What Thou hast spoken must endure.

Is Thine arm shortened, Thine ear dulled?
What Thou hast sworn hast Thou forgot?
God of the everlasting years,
All else may fail; Thou failest not.

Against the foeman's fiery darts
I wield anew the Spirit's sword,
And answer every fresh assault
With ever fresh "Thus saith the Lord."

And when some promised blessing seems
Too great, too wonderful for me,
I dare by faith to call it mine,
With "It is written" all my plea.

'Mid shifting sands of doubt and fear
This is the one foundation stone;
My soul hath cast her anchor here;
I rest upon Thy word alone.

by Annie Johnson Flint

Hebrews 4:12-13 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Evening Song - Psalm 19 - The Law of the Lord

Psalm 19:7-11 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Mug Exchange Reveal Spring 2018

In April I participated in the Tea Cup and Mug Exchange at The Enchanting Rose, an event Stephanie hosts twice a year to encourage making new friends.This year my gifts came from Cheryl who lives in Michigan. This was a happy "coincidence" because Michigan happens to be my home state. :-) She does not have a blog or web page for me to link to - which is fine!

These are the things she sent me (from left to right).
Back row: Tea Lover's Devotional book, The Twelve Teas of Inspiration book (both books contain recipes too), and a lovely card. (Pink is my favorite color and I always like sparkles on a card.)
Second row: magnet, zip pouch, mug, mint tea, and a fancy little note pad.
Front: tea bag holder and a ceramic tea spoon that matches the mug.

I have used the mug so far for vegetable broth and for cold cereal. (Yes, I eat cold cereal out of a mug sometimes. :-)  )

Strange to say, the little tan pouch actually became the star of the collection quite unexpectedly. It dawned on me at some point that it might possibly fit my travel sized paints. I went and collected the pouch from where it was and half hopefully tried it. It is a perfect fit - as if it were made for it! I could even tuck a paper towel into the inside pocket. With a water brush (which contains water in its special chamber), and a watercolor journal or pad of some sort, I can now easily carry along this paint either for plein air painting (a fancy French term for painting outside), or for traveling. I am really delighted with this! :-)  [In case you can't read it, the pouch says "Faith" on the metal tag and the ribbon on the zipper handle.]

Thank you so much, Cheryl, for you thoughtfulness, and for the gifts that you sent.

Previously, due to my shopping constraints, I have sent packages for the exchange through Amazon.com  This time I actually put the package together myself but, sorry to say, I completely forgot about taking a photo of the things I sent. The lady whose name I received was Roseann at "This Autoimmune Life."  She has posted pictures of the things I sent HERE. It was fun that she also lives in Texas, and another happy "coincidence" is that she has another friend named Mary Stephens! :-)

Thanks again to Stephanie for hosting this fun exchange. Visit her post to see what the various ladies received and sent.

Due to the fact that the Teacup and Mug Exchange has grown so much, and that there have been difficulties out of her control that have bothered some people, Stephanie is dropping the exchange at this time. I am sorry to hear it, but I understand. I have marveled at her dedication to make this all work. I hadn't really thought about the problematic aspects, aside from ladies not sending packages they promised to send, but I realize that there are probably a lot of things that can go wrong and so spoil things for some people and make Stephanie sad or unhappy as well. So, I just want to thank Stephanie again and tell her that her efforts are really appreciated by many of us, and I, for one, completely support her decision. It's been a great run. :-)

The Thousand Word Project - Growing Gold

Engelmann's Daisy