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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

FREE Printable Poem Graphic - God's Will Be Done - Annie Johnson Flint

Another free vintage graphic I've remade, this one with a poem by Annie Johnson Flint. Click Here to download a larger version. The download button is on the upper left, fifth from the top. Please save it to your computer for you own personal use.

Where I got the original graphic: The Graphics Fairy.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Evening Song - Heaven Came Down

John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Creatures Great and Small - Hummingbird Moth

Psalm 104:24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. 

These photos were taken in Tennessee when we lived there. This is a hummingbird moth and the flower is butterfly bush.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Refreshing Cucumber Salad

My mom made this salad often during the summer months when the garden produced a lot of fresh vegetables. It is a light, cold, and refreshing salad for summer. These will keep for a good while in the fridge, gradually becoming more pickles than salad. I am guessing that good probiotics will develop, especially if you use raw apple cider vinegar. You may reduce the water to taste.

Cucumber Salad

2 Cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 Tbs. sugar

Mix all and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Serve cold.

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Thoughts from the Past – A Bold Foe

Photo from my grandpa's collection, I assume taken in a zoo.

Jan. 3, 2006 [edited 2020]

A Bold Foe

Over the weekend we had a guest - a fellow believer from California. Last night we showed him one of our lion documentaries (The Lions of Etosha, filmed by Des and Jen Bartlett). In discussing the hunting habits of lions they showed two different sequences in which the lions, in the process of their hunt, did not even bother to hide themselves. They boldly approached the prey in plain sight. Half of the strategy was to panic the prey by their very presence. The prey knew they were being hunted and could see all or at least part of the lions. The fear factor in this panicked the prey into going exactly where the lions wanted them to go so that they could catch one to devour.

I was again reminded that this is one of the tactics of our adversary the devil who is also described as a devouring lion. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

Sometimes the devil, or his minions, will actually hunt for the saints, as it were, in our plain sight. There is no hiding of the fact that they are there to devour. The idea is much as the lion's - they desire to panic us into bolting directly into their trap.

It is amazingly easy to be panicked by this tactic, but the Lord has not left us helpless. He has told us what to do. The passage continues, Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 1 Peter 5:9 Steadfast resistance in the faith is the key. Unlike the helpless prey of the real lions, if we in faith steadfastly resist being panicked we can overcome the devil and his servants.

We read in Proverbs 28:1, ...the righteous are bold as a lion. We are righteous through Jesus Christ, Who is the lion of the tribe of Juda (Rev. 5:5). Another section of the video showed a confrontation between two male "stray lions" (lions not belonging to a pride), and the two big males of the pride. At first, the lone lion from the pride ran from the intruders, but when his friend - his brother - came to support him he turned around and confronted the intruders.

There is strength in the support of our fellow saints, but ultimately our support is Christ, the lion of Juda Himself. With Him no spiritual predator can overcome us. Our confidence and faith must be in Him, not ourselves. We must resist the urge to panic when the roaring devil shows himself.

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


First published here in July 2011.
This post was written for my old blog in 2006. The guest we had that January is now my husband. :-)

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Evening Song - For All My Sin

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. 

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. 

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Sunday, July 26, 2020

Evening Song - Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us

Psalm 23:1-6 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. 

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Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Regrowing Vegetables from Kitchen Scraps

Here is video showing how you can grow new food from vegetable trimmings. If you don't have a garden to plant the things in later after they root and sprout, you can plant most of them in pots. The pots would need to be large. For potatoes you would need something quite large since they are going to grow under the surface and will need plenty of room.

I do not know this lady, but she lives in the same part of the US as we do. Her aprons are a fun addition. :-)

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Sunday, July 19, 2020

Carpenter's Son - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

The little shop at Nazareth,
The peaceful life for which it stood,
The clear, strong, ringing hammer-strokes,
The droning saw, the riven wood,
The murmur of the smoothing plane,
The scent of shavings freshly curled –

Continue Reading.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Evening Song - Just As I Am

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. 

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Saturday, July 11, 2020

Hymn Medley by Natalie Raynes - Because He Lives, etc.

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Just for Fun - To Tickle Your Funny Bone

1. I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn't park anywhere near the place.

2. I wrote a song, but I can't read music. Every time I hear a new song on the radio, I think "Hey, maybe I wrote that."

3. I turned my air conditioner the other way around, and it got cold out. The weatherman said, "I don't understand it. It was supposed to be 80 degrees out today." I said "Oops . . ."

4. I spilled Spot remover on my dog. Now he's gone.

5. I bought some powdered water, but I didn't know what to add.

6. I have an answering machine in my car. It says, "I'm home now, but leave a message and I'll call when I'm out."

7. I went to a restaurant that serves "breakfast at any time." So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.

9. I have a hobby. I have the world's largest collection of sea shells. I keep it scattered on beaches all over the world. Maybe you've seen some of it.

10. I went to a general store, but they wouldn't let me buy anything specific.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Worth Repeating: From Mom's Collection - What If It Were Today?

This was first posted on the blog in November 2018, but I reread this last week and it seemed appropriate to repeat it now.

1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.


It has been quite some while since I posted anything from my mom's collection of old bits and pieces. Recently, in sorting through a box that contained, among other things, some resource materials for the web page and blog, I ran across some pages that had been taken from a ring binder. On these pages my mom had glued many poems and some short thoughts - mostly of spiritual encouragement. I didn't even remember that I had them! It was a lovely little surprise. :-)  Previously I was posting these items mostly here on the blog, but I have decided to put them at the web site now instead.

Having had some unexpected challenges this weekend, I am sharing just a short thought. It seemed useful, and I hope you find it so as well.

1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.


What If It Were Today?

A traveler chanced upon a beautiful villa situated on the shores of a beautiful lake in Switzerland far from the beaten track of tourists. The traveler knocked at the garden gate and an aged gardener undid its heavy fastenings and bade him enter. The aged man seemed glad to see him and showed him around the wonderful garden.

"How long have you been here?" the traveler asked.

"Twenty-four years."

"And how often has your master been here meanwhile?"

Please Continue Reading

at my web site.

Painting: Celia Thaxter's Garden by Frederick Childe Hassam.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Evening Song - I'd Rather Have Jesus

Psalm 19:7-10 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. 

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Oh Lord, In Thee Believing

Oh Lord, In Thee Believing 

O Lord, in Thee believing,
Our souls have peace with God,
Eternal life receiving,
The purchase of Thy blood.

Our curse and condemnation
Thou barest in our stead;
Secure is our salvation,
In Thee, our risen Head.

The Holy Ghost, revealing
Thy grace, hath given us rest,
Thy stripes have been our healing,
Thy love doth make us blest.

In Thee the Father sees us
Accepted and complete;
Grace which from evil frees us,
For glory makes us meet.

J. G. Deck
No. 249 in Hymns for the Little Flock

2 Corinthians 4:13-14 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Evening Song - Wonderful Grace of Jesus

Acts 4:33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 

Romans 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 

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Saturday, June 20, 2020

Evening Song - Footprints of Jesus

1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 

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Michael Lining Music

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Grammy Beherrell's War Cake

This recipe was sent in by Gloria C. from California years ago. She says, "Here is one of my favorite recipes from my Grammy for a cake she made during the depression when ingredients were scarce..." Notice that it uses dark brown sugar (used to be the cheap sugar), no eggs, and no milk in the actual cake.

Grammy Beherrell's War Cake

2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups cold water
3 Tbs Margarine [I recommend butter]
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup hot water
2 3/4 cup flour

Mix first 7 ingredients in 2 1/2 quart sauce pan and boil for 5 minutes. Cool.
To mixture add the tsp of baking soda mixed with the 1/4 cup hot water.
Add the 2 3/4 cups flour and beat for 2 minutes.
Pour into greased angel cake pan and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees

Glaze:  [Optional]
1 1/2 Tbs butter
1 1/2 Tbs milk [use a plant based milk for dairy free]
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Heat milk and butter just until butter melts add rest of ingredients and stir until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Don't Store Junk

Working with my mom on packing when we moved to Texas in 2008.
We brought so much stuff we didn't need!

Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 

In 2010 things that were put into storage units stayed there on average for 15 months. If the owner was paying $200 a month on that storage, that's $3,000 dollars. [Source] I looked up recent costs for storage units (2019) and saw prices ranging from $40 to $300 per month, depending on the size and whether or not there is climate control. I suspect that in some areas the costs might be higher depending upon supply and demand.

This makes sense for people who are moving and have to leave one house before they move into the next one. It also might make sense for some high value items such as art, collectibles with known value (not guessed value), and furniture that would cost appreciably more to replace than the cost of storage. A person running a home business or who is self-employed and doesn't have room at their residence to store their merchandise or tools and materials may also find this type of storage cost-effective.


The idea of paying to store our extra junk because we're too precious to part with it is, frankly, ridiculous...

Continue Reading.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

From Mom's Collection - A Prayer for Vacation Days

Matthew 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 

I realize that a lot of us may not have an opportunity to go away somewhere this year for a vacation or holiday, as it is generally thought of in the Western world. But, perhaps we could find a place to get apart from the usual business of life and sit at Jesus' feet hearing His word and talking with Him. Perhaps at a park away from the city. Perhaps at a borrowed lake or mountain cottage. This is the kind of vacation that would probably benefit a lot of Christians if they would seek it out instead of the entertainment filled destinations. Even so-called Christian retreats are sometimes more distracting than edifying. Maybe it is time to think more about those secluded times for individuals or families to be really alone with God. Whatever the case may be, we can resort to the Lord in our hearts and minds no matter where we may be. 

A Prayer for Vacation Days

Thy blessing, Lord, on all vacation days.
For weary ones who seek the quiet ways,
Fare forth beyond the thunder of the street,
The marvel of Emmaus Road repeat;
Thy Comradeship so graciously bestow
Their hearts shall burn within them as they go!

Continue Reading.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

In My Heart Medley

My parents knew Mrs. Barth and they had this album and played it when I was a child. This was one of my favorite songs. I hope you enjoy and are blessed. :-)

Ephesians 5:18-20 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Crown Jewel Patties

I think I found this recipe in a magazine years ago. Sadly, I never made them and now there are several ingredients that I can't eat any more due to intolerances. I still like the idea, though. :-)  I wonder if I could make them with mashed beets and some gluten free bread crumbs. Hmmmm.

Crown Jewel Patties

In a mixing bowl beat:
1 egg
Add and mix:
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/2 C. finely chopped onion
2 Tbl. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 C. mashed cooked carrots

Add and mix thoroughly:
3 C. soft bread crumbs

(If mixture is too wet to handle, add more bread crumbs or saltine cracker crumbs. If using cracker crumbs, let stand a couple minutes or so to allow it to soak in good.)
Shape into 2 1/2-3 inch patties and coat with:

2 C. crushed cornflakes

(Crush cornflakes in small "batches" as you need them for this, to avoid crushing too many.)

Bake on a greased baking sheet for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.

Yield: 5-6 servings.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Evening Song - O that Will Be Glory

Job 19:25-27 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. 

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Honesty - A Poem

Painting by Monet.


It is better to lose with a conscience clean
Than to win by a trick unfair;
It is better to fail and know you've been ---
Whatever the price was --- square,
Than to claim the joy of the far-off goal
And the cheers of the standers-by,
And to know down deep in your inmost soul
A cheat you must live and die.

The prize seems far when the fight is on
But unless it is truly won,
You will hate the thing when the crowds are gone,
For it stands for a false deed done;
And it's far better you should never reach your goal
Than ever success to buy
At the price of knowing down deep in your soul
That your glory is all in a lie.

Author Unknown

Romans 12:17 ...Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Hard Questions - Should You Obey the Government?

This sermon is by a pastor in Australia whose testimony is well known to some of my family. I found this message very encouraging and also such an urgent reminder for this time we're in now. The Lord commands us to obey the powers that be, which He has ordained (Romans 13). In this message Brother Hyland makes it clear from God's own word how much we are to be subject to the governments God has set in place and the limited parameters of when and how we can disobey. It may not be at all what you think. Have a listen.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Evening Song - Zion's Hill

"For Thou Art With Me"

I know not when I go, nor where,
From this familiar scene;
But [Christ] is here and He is there
And all the way between;

And, when I pass from all I know
To that dim, vast unknown,
Though late I stay, or soon I go,
I shall not go alone.

Annie Johnson Flint  [altered]

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

Caramel Sauce

Caramel Sauce

1 1/2 Cups sugar
1/2 Cup Light corn syrup
6 Tablespoons margarine or butter
1 Cup light cream or evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients in a 2 qt. sauce pan. Bring to a rolling boil over medium to high medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for about 3-4 minutes, continuing to stir constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. If the oil starts to separate, return to the stove and boil longer. Cool to desired warmth before serving with ice cream.


I don't use corn syrup any more, and I haven't made this recently, so I don't know what the best substitute would be for that. Maybe there is non-GMO corn syrup available by now.

This syrup goes well on cake, pie, ice cream or even on fresh fruit like apples or bananas. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Random Acts of Blogging - Questions About Writing

I found these questions somewhere online. I'm sorry I don't remember where, nor do I remember if I added any of my own. :-)


Do you write better at a specific time of day?

That's hard to say. I'm not sure there's a time I write better, but I do have the unfortunate tendency to start writing too late in the afternoon or evening and then end up writing too late. This isn't good for my health. Sigh.

What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will?

I struggle with self-doubt about my writing skills quite a bit. I also get discouraged about whether I'm doing anything useful.

How much time do you spend writing?

This year, not as much as I should. I have been gradually getting back to feeling like writing just lately, but I had a rather long spell of not feeling motivated to write much. I realize now that this was probably largely due to the stress we were going through dealing with my mom's dementia and failing health.

What is your favorite type of writing?

At present I have been enjoying the epistolary form of writing - the new category at the web page: "Letters to My Friend".

When did you know you were a writer?

Strange to say, I didn't really know it for a long time. I was at least in my late twenties or thirties, I think, before I thought of myself as a writer. This despite the fact that I loved writing before I even knew how to read! 

How did you first get into writing?

One of my earliest memories is one of my mom writing a letter at our picnic table in Ethiopia with 3 or 4 year-old me sitting next to her making marks on a piece of paper. I was "writing a letter" to Gramma Hoover. I never lost the love or fascination for writing. For years it was focused on letter writing and school work, then the occasional poem, diaries and Bible study journals. Later it moved into writing articles for the web page.

Who was the first person to take note of your writing skill?

My fourth grade teacher, Woody Fridae.

How did you get into writing/editing an online journal?

My dad had started a web page for the purpose of ministry and he suggested that I start a section for women. This is the reason we chose the name "The Home Maker's Corer". It was originally a "corner" of his much larger web site. When I married my husband, Peter, he wanted it to be a separate web page of its own, so we separated it and got my own URL and compiling program.

How did you get into blogging?

After we got married in 2008 my husband suggested a blog as something to along side the web page. Coming up with a name was a bit difficult at the time, but we settled on "The Cotton Apron" because I wore cotton aprons a lot. Still do some. I believe I started it in February of 2009.

What writing skills would you like to add to your skill set?

I would like to write edifying fiction.

What is the most challenging aspect of writing for you?

Starting. Once I really get started, I can usually keep writing. It's the starting that hinders me the most.

What aspect of writing do you enjoy the most?

I think that would be the sense of satisfaction that I was able to get into words something that was on my heart that I wanted to convey to help people, and then to know that it did help someone in the Lord. That is sweet and such a blessing to me personally. 

What motivates you to keep writing?

The desire to help lift others' loads and to teach. To help my sisters in Christ look to God's word for their answers to life's questions. To pass on some of the things that God had taught me. 2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. I have been given so much, and I know the Lord doesn't mean for me to keep it all to myself. Plus, I just have to write. Even if it never makes it into print, I write and have conversations in my head constantly - c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y!

How has writing made a difference in your life?

It has expanded my view of the world and life. It has forced me to work on my own spiritual needs and life struggles. It has perhaps given me a different view of  scripture sometimes as I read it. It has made me more aware of may issues that women are dealing with in the world and church today.

When you are in ministry to others often times the Lord will let you experience a lot of things so that you can help others, or perhaps you just become more aware of how your life experiences can help others. This can give you a sense of the importance of not letting things go to waste, so to speak. Sometimes it is an attainable goal, and sometimes it is not. Some things are too hard to write about yet, but when you have a desire to help others, you will often times find that at some point the Lord will require you to write about things you never wanted to write about. This is hard. It strips away a lot of pretense. It can be quite painful at times, but it can also be cathartic. 

Another, though less interesting, difference that writing makes in my life is that when I get to writing sometimes chores that needed to be done get delayed or missed. Sigh. Tonight the dishwasher did not get run as it should have.

Do you have any professional help with writing?

No. I have watched some YouTube videos by writers and editors that have been helpful to me, but so far I haven't sought out professional help. My husband proofreads for me often, but we both miss things, as you may notice. 

Have you taken any courses on writing?

I took a creative writing course at the college level right after high school (maybe I did secretly know I was a writer? but I didn't have a real goal in that other than wanting to). It was really more basic English, in my opinion. I wasn't overly impressed, but I did learn stuff from it. 

Is writing your profession or hobby or...?

For me it is an unpaid ministry at present. It is one of the main ways that I serve the Lord outside my home (and yet at home at the same time). Unfortunately, writing does not seem to be very much looked for as a ministry within the body of Christ on the local church level any more. I'm not sure how that could be changed.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

I Bring My Sins to Thee - A Poem by Frances Ridley Havergal

I bring my sins to Thee,
The sins I cannot count,
That all may cleansed be
In Thy once opened Fount;
I bring them Saviour, all to Thee;
The burden is too great for me.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Evening Song - God Will Take Care of You

Luke 12:6-7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. 

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Lazy Day Peppers

1 pound hamburger (or ground meat of your choice)
1/4 lb bacon, sliced
1 onion, minced
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 - 4 green peppers, chunks (1 inch)
1 28 oz can tomatoes, broken up
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs paprika
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
2 cups water

Brown hamburger and bacon with onion. Add remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes (add more water as/if needed) or till rice is tender.

Thanks to Denise, South Dakota

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Letters to My Friend - Thoughts on Unexpected Grief and Being Childless

Mother's Day was really hard this year. I knew it would be because of my mother going to heaven in March. It is so raw and fresh still in some ways. What I didn't expect was the grief I had that I don't have a mother here any more and that I am also not a mother.

After years of dealing with pain of not being a mother, I didn't expect that one to crop back up again. It isn't that I don't know how to deal with it, or that I don't know where to go for help with it. It's more like the feeling of, "Hey, wait. I thought I got off of this train at an earlier station. How did I get back on it?" Somehow losing my mom from this earth brought that old hurt back again.

Life surprises us sometimes...

Continue Reading.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Evening Song - The Great Redeemer

Job 19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 

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

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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Berry Fun - Berries and Chocolate for Breakfast

Early summer or late spring is the time for fresh berries. How about making something simple like pancakes or a bowl of oatmeal into something special by adding chocolate chips and fresh berries on top? These are so good you could practically serve them for dessert, but no one will complain of an extra special breakfast. :-) Make sure the pancakes or cereal are very hot when you put the chocolate chips on in order to get that yummy melted chocolate effect. Besides tasting delicious, this is also a very pretty breakfast!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

One Bed Garden - Successive Plantings

Here is a video showing how much food can be grown in one small bed over the course of a growing season by making successive plantings (reusing spaces). This could be done in even a small back yard (garden).

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Sunday, May 10, 2020

A Mother Prays - by Martha Snell Nicholson - A poem for mothers who have lost a little one

When something we have held dear is taken away from us, it is important to ask the Lord to show us things we can do for Him to fill our hands and hearts for His glory. We are not meant to be empty-handed or empty-hearted.

A Mother Prays

There is a new lamb cradled on Thy breast tonight;
A sweet small lamb, so lately mine
I scarce can keep my arms from reaching out
As though to snatch her back from Thine.

Read More.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Evening Song - Where the Soul Never Dies

My mom loved the songs from the Redback Hymnal. She is now in that wonderful place where the soul never dies.

Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 

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Thursday, May 7, 2020

Creatures Great and Small - The Little Red Hen

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

FREE Printable Graphics - Mother's Day and scripture

Here are some free graphics for your card making or other crafting projects. :-)

This graphic is my own photography and design work. Please click here to download a larger sized image. The download button is on the upper left of the page.

This is a vintage graphic. I do not know where it originally came from. Please click here to download a larger sized image. The download button is on the upper left of the page.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

He's Helping Me Now - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

Psalm 121:2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. 

He's Helping Me Now

He's helping me now--this moment,
Though I may not see it or hear,
Perhaps by a friend far distant,
Perhaps by a stranger near,
Perhaps by a spoken message
Perhaps by the printed word;
In ways that I know and know not
I have the help of the Lord.

He's keeping me now--this moment,
However I need it most,
Perhaps by a single angel,
Perhaps by a mighty host,
Perhaps by the chain that frets me,
Or the walls that shut me in;
In ways that I know or know not
He keeps me from harm and sin.

He's guiding me now--this moment,
In pathways easy or hard,
Perhaps by a door wide open,
Perhaps by a door fast barred,
Perhaps by a joy withholden
Perhaps by a gladness given;
In ways that I know and know not,
He's leading me up to heaven.

He's using me now--this moment,
And whether I go or stand,
Perhaps by a plan accomplished
Perhaps when he stays my hand,
Perhaps by a word in season
Perhaps by a silent prayer;
In ways that I know and know not,
His labor of love I share.

--Annie Johnson Flint

Psalm 146:5-6 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God: Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:

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, May 2, 2020

Evening Song - Rejoice In the Lord

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. 

Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 

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Thursday, April 30, 2020

"The Prairie Spring Waltz" - Southern Raised

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

- William Wadsworth, excerpt from "Lines Written In Early Spring"

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

In a medium bowl, mix together:

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
In a large bowl, mix together:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1 12-oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (sometimes I add more than this :-))
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix the "wet" ingredients together until everything is moistened, then add in the flour. Mix everything together until well-combined (I've only done this by hand with a big fork, but I suppose you could use one of those big mixers if you don't like mixing stuff by hand. I can't promise the results will be the same though!)

Drop by level tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 for 9-11 minutes.

Thanks to Elisabeth M. of Texas


The sugar has not been reduced in this recipe, so feel free to make adjustments if you wish.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Good Reads for Bad Times

This has been a rough year. My own family has been through a lot - in addition to the coronavirus stuff and the lock-down. Sometimes I find I need to read things that are more uplifting and encouraging for awhile and avoid anything that is too dramatic, too intense or too morbid. Here are a few books (and some poems) that can be helpful for those times.

For family reading:

The Sugar Creek Gang books by Paul Hutchins.

These books are Christian fiction geared towards kids. We recommend the books prior to the 1990's editions because they made some changes in the books later that weren't great. (Why update a good thing?) Plus the older books give a look into how people used to live in mid-western rural American farm country. There are lots of details of life that are now forgotten or little known.

The stories follow the adventures of the Sugar Creek Gang - a group of boys who live in rural Indiana. The adventures are varied and interesting from catching crooks to going on vacations in the north woods, visiting a missionary in Cuba, snowstorms, and visiting Chicago. They include a lot of roaming around in the woods, learning to be responsible, doing their chores faithfully, learning people relationship skills, and working towards the goal of seeing various people become real, born again Christians. There is also an emphasis on growing in the Christian walk throughout the books. There is a lot of humor as well as some difficult lessons. These books are bit exciting for some kids, but enjoyable for the adults reading them out loud as well. I always like the parents of Bill Collins (the storyteller character) in these stories because they seem like people I would like to have for friends of my own. :-) There are some books that deal with some more sensitive subjects - the destructive aspects of alcohol consumption and the use of bad language are repeating themes that I recall, but some other things are addressed as well.

Here's a website about the series.
For the older editions I recommend looking on AbeBooks and Ebay. Possibly Amazon as well.

The Grandma's Attic books by Arleta Richardson.

These are Christian fiction based on true stories. These stories take place in Michigan back in the old days and follow the adventures of Mable O'Dell from her childhood into adulthood, marriage, and motherhood. The first books in the series have stand alone chapters - each one being a separate story with the biblical lesson given from "Grandma" (Mable herself). These books are fun and there is a lot of humor from the real life stories and events. Some stories are also more serious or heartwarming. Part way through the series the format changes to each book being a continuous story with a plot. These later books follow Mable through her later education and teaching years and then into marriage and motherhood.

These books can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. I took the first book and read some of the stories to my mom when she was staying in the rehad hospital and memory care facility in the last weeks of her life because the stories were interesting and only one short chapter long, so she could follow them. She really seemed to enjoy them a lot. :-) (She had read them to us when we were younger.) My husband also read some of them out loud to me during our pre-marriage months when I was sick and not able to do much. :-)

These books will probably also have to be purchased second hand either online or locally.

The Jungle Doctor books by Paul White

These books are Christian fiction based on true stories. These stories take you back to British East Africa to a hospital in Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and follow the adventures of a missionary doctor and his African assistants. (There is an English nurse - called a "sister" - as well, but she doesn't figure as much in the stories.) These books give a great insight into the thinking of the African people in that place and time. There is drama, humor, and a lot of encouragement and adventure. The biblical lessons are very clear. The books can be enjoyed by children and adults and the books do not have to be read in order, although there is an order to them. (A more recent publication of these books has them out of order, which was a puzzle to me.)

Note: Some difficult subjects are sometimes dealt with. Also there are medical situations that may be a bit much for squeamish people. :-) There are also Bible quotes that are translated from the local African language back into English or perhaps come from the RSV. Look them up in your King James Version if you would like.

These books are sometimes available on Amazon, but can also be purchased second hand online. I do not know if the more recently published editions have been altered.

And here are a few fiction stories that are just fun or sweet without being Christian.

The Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I doubt that I need to say much about these to explain them because they are so well known, but these books follow the adventures of the Ingalls family as they moved around in the United States frontier in the early days. They are fiction based on a true story and, while they have a fair bit of struggle, they are also inspiring for learning to live through hardships and survive.


For adults and young adults:

Then I will recommend two fiction books by Grace S. Richmond. These books were written years ago and have a winsome vintage quality that I personally find to be gentle and enjoyable.

Strawberry Acres - [Spoiler Alert] Follows the adventures of a family of four young adult orphans and their uncle as they shift from city life to country life. This book has it's humor and a little romance, but I think it is also good to encourage you to get out and dig in the dirt and grow things, which is a good way to cheer up in and of itself. :-) It's also a good reminder to make the best of a difficult situation and not assume that something that looks bad can't be turned to something useful.

A Court of Inquiry - This book follows four adults through their relationships with various young ladies in a country boardinghouse. It initially presents various types of young women for the consideration of the reader. Then later it shows where these various young women end up as married women. It is a humorous commentary on human nature - especially young female human nature. Obviously it is from a by-gone era, but it still has its charms and is applicable to modern young women in some ways. :-) This book has an element of romance as well, but it is not exactly the main story.

These books can be enjoyed by young people as well as adults. They have been reprinted and are for sale on Amazon (or at least one is), or you can find them free in various ebook formats or to read online at gutenberg.org

Strawberry Acres
A Court of Inquiry


Last but not least, I recommend the poems of Annie Johnson Flint for encouragement and edification in the truth of the Lord. These poems have been a great help to me during various dark times of my own life. Miss Flint experienced some very difficult things in her own life, and God helped her to pass on the comfort and courage He gave her to us in the form of poetry.

The Poem of Annie Johnson Flint

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Evening Song - There's Room At the Cross for You

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. 

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. 

John 3:14-17 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Letters to My Friend - Strength In Trials

I have written another letter, this one again about my mother. I hope it is a help to you. I apologize that I didn't get this up on Sunday. This past weekend was a difficult one for a couple of reasons.

Dear Friend,

Well, here we are in the midst of the COVID 19 crisis. Regardless of your opinion on the subject, it's impossible to deny that there is a crisis in many countries because of it. I've seen so many things - good, bad, and indifferent - written and posted about it. People encouraging others in many ways. Churches stepping up and doing things new and strange to them, but which obviously needed to be done because...well, here we are, and God is forcing us to do them. People lamenting the loneliness, the stress, the cabin fever (as we call it in some parts). People trying hard to follow guidelines, people half-heartedly obeying the rules, and people cavalierly doing as they jolly well please. People sick and some dying. Questions, questions, questions. Very few answers that seem to be absolutely unquestionable truth. So much to say. So much to complain about. Some with much to do. Some with nothing to do. All can pray, if we will. And we can read God's word.

So many things I could write about. But something is pressing upon my mind that at first might seem unrelated.

Continue Reading.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Just for Fun - Mostly Useless Trivia about the 50 States

1. Alabama - The Confederate flag was designed and first flown in Alabama in 1861.

2.  Alaska - 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the United States are located in Alaska.

3. Arizona - The original London Bridge was shipped stone-by-stone and reconstructed in Lake Havasu City.

4. Arkansas - Pine Bluff is known as the world center of archery bow production.

5. California - One out of every eight United States residents lives in California.

6. Colorado - The United States federal government owns more than 1/3 of the land in Colorado.

Continue Reading.


Painting by T. C. Steele

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Evening Song - God's So Good

Psalm 52:1 Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually. 

Psalm 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works. 

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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Just for Fun - "Simon's Cat - Double Trouble"

This is a relatively accurate representation of cats learning to live in the same house. :-)

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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Lil Hunsaker's White Beans

Lil Hunsaker's White Beans

From my dad, Steve Van Nattan who spent years tuning pianos. He got some great food from his customers sometimes: "I found this exceptional bean soup at a customer's home in Tubac, Arizona."

  • White Northern beans or lima beans (In the words of Country Bevins, "Them greezy Michigan beans")
  • Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper  
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley

Cook the beans as you usually would. For a clear soup broth, cook beans and drain before adding water, onion, garlic, oil, lemon, and salt. If you drain off the first water, save it for later use since it is full of food value. For a clear broth, clear beef broth could be used to add flavor. After the top six ingredients are cooked and ready to eat, shred the cilantro and parsley into the soup and serve.

For the chili lovers, red pepper could be shaken on, or a few drops of Tabasco added. Habanero in moderation would also add a real special touch to this dish.

A garnish of the cilantro, parsley, as well as green onion tops could be served in a side dish to be added at the table.

Editor's Note: Cilantro is already growing in the southern parts of the US at this time of year. In areas with more winter it won't be long before you can plant it. Fresh cilantro is one of my favorite herbs. :-)

Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Heart's Center - A Poem

As we remember and rejoice in the great victory Jesus Christ won over sin and death and hell, let us consider the response that this astonishing fact should call forth in us in our daily lives.

The Heart's Center 
by Albert Midlane

Think well of Christ, beloved saint,
That worthy, precious One,
Who fills the Father's heart, as there
He sits upon the throne.
Deem moments wasted, when the mind
Is fixed on aught beside;
He claims thy heart--with nothing less
Will He be satisfied.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Evening Song - Jesus Paid It All

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 

Hebrews 7:24-25 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

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Thursday, April 9, 2020

Visiting the Michigan Woods In Spring

Trillium photo property of "Plants Amaze Me."

Michigan is my home state and it is the state my mother considered her home state in the U.S, although she was born in Tanzania, East Africa. Western Michigan, where we lived at various times, is a beautiful place. This blog offers some occasional walks in the woods there. Enjoy!

Aman Park in Ottawa County, Michigan - May 7 2019

Dowagiac Woods April 8 2019

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Crock Pot Ruben Sandwich Filling

I had this years and years ago and it was really good. With more healthy versions of some of these ingredients available today, it would be possible to make this with organic ingredients or something similar. Also, this would probably be really good served with a savory version of Irish Soda Bread.

Ruben Sandwiches

1 Cup Thousand  Island salad dressing
1 Cup Sauer Kraut
1  12 ounce can corned beef (drained)
10 ounces grated Swiss cheese (or cheese of your choice)
Cook on high or medium in a crock pot 2 hours or more.
Serve on rye bread or potatoes (mashed, baked or boiled).

-- Thanks to Denise of South Dakota

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Guest Post: Truth or Fact?

Today I am sharing a short, but cheering, thought related to the power of the resurrection and the Lord's ability to change facts with His truth. This item is posted at The Home Maker's Corner. It is written by my brother, Dan, and used with his permission.

Truth or Fact?

Are these two things mutual? Immutable in their connectivity? From a humanistic perspective, we would ascertain that they are indeed always linked. From that humanist perspective we therefore tend to stray quickly into the realm of unbelief.

Here is an example of Truth not being equitable to "fact" which I would like you to ponder on.

Continue Reading Here.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Evening Song - From Every Stormy Wind that Blows

At this time when people are perhaps praying more than usual, and as we deal with being parted from our usual fellowship in many places, this song seems especially comforting.

Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. 

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From ev'ry stormy wind that blows,
from ev'ry swelling tide of woes,
there is a calm, a sure retreat;
'tis found beneath the mercy seat.

There is a place where Jesus sheds
the oil of gladness on our heads,
a place than all besides more sweet;
it is the blood-stained mercy seat.

There is a spot where spirits blend,
where friend holds fellowship with friend,
tho' sundered far; by faith they meet
around the common mercy seat.

Ah, whither could we flee for aid,
when tempted, desolate, dismayed,
or how the hosts of hell defeat,
had suff'ring saints no mercy seat?

There, there on eagle wings we soar,
and time and sense seem all no more,
and heav'n comes down our souls to greet,
and glory crowns the mercy seat.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Thoughts About Church Meetings and Behavior In the Midst of the Present Distress

This is a difficult time to write or post thoughts for me. This year has already been one of loss and sadness for me and my family, especially as my mother went Home to Heaven on March 5th. I don't feel like I have a lot in me at present to deal with this corona virus situation, and I especially am not interested in getting into debates with people who don't agree with our perspective. I don't have energy nor desire to engage in that way at all. I don't even have the energy emotionally at this point to engage much with those who do agree. :-)

Having said all that, I did write something to post today, but I didn't finish it and was wondering what I should put up. Some things came to my attention today.

I thought I'd start here:

There has been some chatter in various quarters about how the government has no right to close down churches for this present epidemic. Some people have tried to pose this as if it were persecution or a conspiracy to bring in martial law. Some have suggested that not meeting in the manner which we have come to accept as "normal" - in a church building on Sunday morning, evening, and Wednesday night - falls under the category of "forsaking the assembling of yourselves together." This is taken from Hebrews 10:24-25:  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 

First of all, this is not persecution. The bars/pubs, night clubs, fairs, amusement parks, sporting events, schools, restaurants, and so forth have all been closed too in most places that have closures. Churches have not been singled out. We are still permitted to preach the gospel and edify the saints through alternate mediums, whether online, in small groups or in a more socially distanced manner (drive-in churches, etc.)

Secondly, the verse in Hebrews is not talking about meeting in a church building specifically, nor is it talking about moving meetings or canceling meetings temporarily for a period of time. My understanding of "forsaking" is that it means to quit or abandon, to leave entirely, to depart from (Source). This is not what the compliant churches are doing. They are moving the meetings or services online, to small groups or to an open air environment (in some places). They are not "quitting on God," to use a cliche. They are not walking away from the gathering of believers for edification and instruction and saying they aren't coming back, or making continuous life choices that show that they have no desire to be with the saints. Suggesting such is neither kind nor charitable.

To perhaps clarify some points, here is a video that is helpful in explaining what is going on in the USA with this situation. It is not a "new thing," although it is strange to us. One clarification: When he says at the end of WW2 he meant WW1. He made that correction in the comments if you look at the video over at YouTube.

I do not know this pastor or much about him or his ministry, but what he says addresses some important points very well.

It's especially important to note the details relating to the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918-1919. I "happened" to watch a couple videos on that last fall/winter, and the numbers from that event were dumbfounding. We don't want to see that happen again in even a smaller proportion to our modern populations. We need to follow the mandates and directives to avoid people contact and going out more than is absolutely necessary. This is for the good of the public health. I am especially concerned for the healthcare providers and hospitals and the effects this could have on those services.

It will have an economic effect on nations, but thousands of deaths are worse than loss of money in the big picture, and that's something we need to consider carefully. Some Christians may have to decide how pro-life they actually are. Is economic security and prosperity more important to you than the lives of people? Don't answer that carelessly. Stop and think! Ask yourself what God's view would be. Does God value people more than money?

1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 


For your edification, to help you think about how we should live in this time as far as our interactions with believers and our actions, speech, and attitudes, here is a thought provoking message from scripture from our pastor. There has been too much high feeling and careless talk on social media between people who should be showing each other the love of Christ. We don't need to be experts or authorities. We don't even need to be "right." But, we do need to be honorable and Christ-like in how we behave ourselves, all of the time but, especially now.

1 Peter 3:8-11 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it. 

And, of course, it wouldn't seem quite right to make a post like this and not include an appropriate poem. :-) So:


I know not, but God knows;
Oh, blessed rest from fear!
All my unfolding days
To Him are plain and clear.

Each anxious, puzzled "Why?"
From doubt or dread that grows,
Finds answer in this thought;
I know not, but He knows.

I cannot, but God can;
Oh, balm for all my care!
The burden that I drop
His hand will lift and bear,

Though eagle pinions tire --
I walk where once I ran --
This is my strength, to know
I cannot, but God can.

I see not, but God sees;
Oh, all-sufficient light!
My dark and hidden way
To Him is always bright.

My strained and peering eyes
May close in restful ease,
And I in peace may sleep;
I see not, but He sees.

by Annie Johnson Flint

Psalm 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.   (Whether that safety is on this earth, or in heaven.)