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Sunday, November 30, 2014

ABCs of Raising Children


My grandfather with his four children sometime in the 1950s.

The original of this was actually written by someone else, though I don’t know who it was.  It has been altered extensively to make it more biblical. 


A is for Accountability.

Hold your children accountable for their behavior. Give them boundaries and make it clear that there will be repercussions if they cross those limits. Example - In the Old Testament Law God told His children "thou shalt not" and then prescribed set punishments if they did anyway.

Give them responsibilities and hold them accountable if they fail to do as they have been instructed. 1Cor. 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. Someday they will give account of themselves to God. Ultimately, you are preparing them for that day. Rom. 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Show them that the point of accountability is not so that you can punish them for every mistake but rather to help them grow in their ability to bear responsibility.  Galatians 6:2-5 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Evening Song – I Sing the Mighty Power of God



Isaiah 40:25-26  To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Sew Happy Friday – How Batik Fabric Is Made


I wasn’t terribly impressed with batiks at first.  Then I ordered some for a potential project.  When I ironed them after pre-washing them I discovered how gorgeous they are.  I will say that I’m particular about which ones I like, but this is true of ordinary prints as well.  We all have our own tastes in fabric. :-)

One thing that has been a bit of a hindrance to me in buying batiks is the price.  After watching how these lovely fabrics are made, I don’t feel that I can complain any more.  This is an amazing process that still involves people working very closely with the fabric, dyes and design!  It is really like owning a piece of artwork when you realize all the hands on work that goes into making it.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving Thoughts, Part 2



Thankful – 1) conscious of benefit received 
2) expressive of thanks 
3) well pleased
-  Mirriam Webster (modern)


THANKSGIV'ING, ppr. Rendering thanks for good received.

THANKSGIV'ING, n. The act of rendering thanks or expressing gratitude for favors or mercies.
- Webster’s American Dictionary… 1828


Thanksgiving…Celebration of mercy.
- Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language

Thanksgiving-day, I fear,
If one the solemn truth must touch,
Is celebrated, not so much
To thank the Lord for blessing o'er,
As for the sake of getting more!
- Will Carelton

Who does not thank for little will not thank for much.
- Estonian Proverb

Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.  
- A.W. Tozer



Lord, I am glad for the great gift of living,
Glad for Thy days of sun and of rain;
Grateful for joy, with an endless thanksgiving,
Grateful for laughter -- and grateful for pain.

Lord, I am glad for the young April's wonder,
Glad for the fulness of long summer days;
And now when the spring and my heart are asunder,
Lord, I give thanks for the dark autumn ways.

Sun, bloom, and blossom, O Lord, I remember,
The dream of the spring and its joy I recall;
But now in the silence and pain of November,
Lord, I give thanks to Thee, Giver of all!

Charles Hanson Towne


Where to give thanks.

1 Chronicles 16:8  Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.

Psalms 18:49  Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

Why to give thanks.

Psalms 30:4-5  Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.  For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

Psalms 106:1-2  Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.  Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?

2 Thessalonians 2:13-14  But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The future thanks.

Revelation 11:17  Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Gray Days of November – A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint


The Gray Days of November

The gray days of November
No plaint from me shall win;
I shut the fog and mist all out,
And shut the fire-shine in;
I draw my chair the closer
To where its warm glow cheers,
And, dreaming in the firelight,
Dream back across the years.

No happier days, no better,
My lost youth gave to me,
With flowers in every meadow
And songs from every tree;
That was the time of growing;
This is the time of rest;
Bloom falls, but fruiting follows,
And each in turn is best…

Continue Reading.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving Thoughts, Part 1


In every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Thanksgiving day is just around the corner, and I would like to suggest 3 thoughts to encourage being thankful. 1) It’s good for yourself and your own emotional and psychological makeup. Try listing some things for which to give thanks. Dwell on those things. It’ll be good for you. If you have nothing to be thankful for, get saved! 2) It’s good for those around you. There aren’t too many people who like to be around a whining, complaining, ungrateful person. You’ll be much more of a blessing and witness to your family and friends if you put thankfulness into practice. 3) It’s good for the Name of Jesus Christ. Why? Because it’s God’s will.

Oh, one more thing. You’ll be the winner. How can that be? John 13:17, says, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” Wanna be happy? Give thanks. It’s in God’s Holy Bible.

- Pastor David Burkholder


Life is a journey, not a home; a road, not a city of habitation; and the enjoyments and blessings we have are but little inns on the roadside of life, where we may be refreshed for a moment, that we may with new strength press on to the end - to the rest that remaineth for the people of God.
- Horatio Bonar


Blessed Be the Lord

We were lost, but we are found,
Dead, but now alive are we;
We were sore in bondage bound,
But our Jesus sets us free.

Strangers, and He takes us in,
Naked, and He becomes our dress,
Sick, and He from stain of sin
Cleanses with His righteousness.

Therefore, will we sing His praise
Who His lost ones hath restored,
Hearts and voices both shall raise
Allelujahs to the Lord.

John S. B. Monsell


When you cannot rejoice in feelings, circumstances or conditions, rejoice in the Lord.
- A.B. Simpson


Doth not all nature around me praise God? If I were silent, I should be an exception to the universe. Doth not the thunder praise Him as it rolls like drums in the march of the God of armies? Do not the mountains praise Him when the woods upon their summits wave in adoration? Doth not the lightning write His name in letters of fire? Hath not the whole earth a voice? And shall I, can I, silent be?
- C. H. Spurgeon

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Evening Song – Let All Things Now Living



Psalms 150:1-6  Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.  Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.  Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.  Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sew Happy Friday – Make Your Own Easy Infinity Scarf


Here is a pretty simple way to make an infinity scarf presented by Terry from Fabric Junction.  This method is the best one I’ve seen so far.  One other was too complicated and another didn’t provide such a nicely finished look.  You could make this scarf wider or narrower.  If you find wider fabric you could make it longer.  You can also make it out of some other types of fabric – minky, fleece, various knits and possibly some woven fabrics like flannel.  But, keep in mind that you want something that will feel nice against your face, and it’s probably better to use something that will drape nicely.

This would be a great simple project to make with a beginner sewist this time of year. But, it does not have to be a winter only scarf.  You can make it from gauze or other light weight fabrics for use during other seasons.

I do recommend that you use the free arm feature of your machine if you have one for sewing around the “circle” when joining the ends.  It seems to me that it would be easier than the way Terry does it here.

Note: This lady’s long fingernails seem to be getting in her way a little as she sews.  This is one reason I don’t recommend long fingernails for sewing. :-)

As usual, I was not asked to post this video and received no compensation for doing so.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cheap, Pretty and Good – Some Fun Autumn Crafts


Here are some home décor items you can make, possibly with things you already have on hand.  Most of these could be made with your kids as well and some are appropriate for even young children.

Book Page Pumpkin Tutorial by Kara at “Creations by Kara”.

Here is a cute way to recycle or upcycle a book you don’t want any more.  Turn it into a pumpkin.  If you don’t have orange spray paint be creative.  Let one of the kids color the page edges with an orange crayon or chalk, or do it yourself. 

These Newspaper Leaves over at “Life with Little Ones” are a simple project that would be fun with children.  You don’t have to use newspaper.  White or light colored, light weight paper could work just as well.  If you’re careful you might recycle pages from an old phone book or something of a more similar weight to newspaper.

Here are some leaf rubbings that my sister-in-law in Australia made some years ago.  As you can see, she made them on plain white paper.  This makes me think – you could frame “artwork” like this.  Do the various leaves in different fall colors for more pop.

Photo property of Spark & Chemistry

Now this is a project that I really want to make!  I might make it non-seasonal by using green leaves or some other translucent covering, though I really like the autumn leaves.  Maybe some interesting fabric scraps?

Autumn Leaf, Mason Jar Candle Holder over at Spark & Chemistry by Alicia and Geneane

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Birth of Jesus Christ – Part 9, Matthew 1:20-21


If you missed the first parts of this study on the birth of Jesus, you may wish to go back and start at the beginning.

This week the subject matter will probably be more controversial in some ways.  This discussion will include the teaching of Jesus Christ on the subject of divorce and marriage as well as a few thoughts on our great Saviour and why He came.

Read Here: Matthew 1:20-21

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Evening Song – My Anchor Holds

Hebrews 6:18-20  That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sew Happy Friday – An Easy Quilt to Make with Fat Quarters


The Broken Bar Quilt from the Missriouri Star Quilt Co. is a quick and easy quilt to make with fat quarters.  If you have larger prints or you want it to go a bit faster, you could probably cut some of the strips wider and skip the really narrow ones.  In fact, for really large prints mixed in with smaller prints or solids, you could cut some quite large pieces 10” across as feature fabrics.  In this design it would look quite stunning, I think.  Just make sure you get them right side up. :-)

You can also “shop your own stuff” by selecting quilting fabrics from your stash and scraps to cut into 10” sections rather than using fat quarters.  I probably have quite a few scrap pieces that would work for this.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Reader’s Comments – Why Do Americans Decorate for the Seasons?


I thought it might be interesting to address some reader’s comments in posts, so I’m going to start a new series.  Some of these may come from email from the Home Maker’s Corner, but I think most will be comments made here at the blog.


A year ago Joluise made a comment on my post “A Reminder for this Time of Year”.  In response to my answer she said this:

“I read a number of Christian blogs and I am fascinated by the number who "decorate" their homes for Fall. We just don't do that and find it all very strange. A number of blogs have had photos of pumpkins in all the house and decorations on their mantelpieces. I wouldn't even think of decorating for spring right now!!”

I don’t know if this custom came from other European countries or not.  I know Australia has had primarily a British influence.  I haven’t researched this subject, so take this as my opinion and observations.

First off, both the U.S. and Canada have a historical Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the harvest.  This particular holiday happening in the autumn, which is unusually beautiful in parts of North America, lends itself to decorating with the gorgeous foliage and produce of the season as well as things associated with the first Thanksgiving in the U.S. – leaves, pumpkins, Indian corn, squash, apples, grapes, acorns, etc.  Summers in North America can be long and hot in some parts, so autumn is also a welcomed relief from the heat – something worth celebrating.  Also, since school starts at the end of the summer, autumn offers the first big seasonal “craft project” opportunity for the kids.  Often these projects are items to be used for décor.

Sadly, Halloween has been built into one of the biggest holidays in the U.S.  I can’t exactly say how this happened, but due to its overtly devilish connections I’m sure that Satan has made much of the opportunity to encourage it in many ways.  The longish time period between July 4th (Independence Day) and October 31st without any significant decorating holidays, has probably contributed to people’s “need” to make it big in the U.S.

In addition, much of the U.S. and Canada have very distinct seasons.  Winter is long and dark and cold in many areas so spring is anticipated eagerly, and in some parts of the continent spring is spectacular.  When the flowers appear it’s a natural tendency to bring some inside – daffodils, tulips, pussywillows, apple blossoms, dogwood, redbud, etc.  In fact, some of the tree blossoms can be cut and brought inside to bloom early.

The spring observance of the Lord’s resurrection, which has very sadly been combined with ancient European and Middle Eastern fertility cults and so named Easter, naturally lends itself to certain springtime decorations being used since it occurs at that time of year.  May baskets, a former custom brought from the Old World, I believe, were given in some parts of the American continent at one time.

Of course, the usual decorations for the Christmas season have been around for ages and came from the Old World, again much of it dating from ancient times and other religions.  In the very early years it was not observed much or at all in parts of the U.S., and only became a huge holiday later on.  The usual firs, pine, spruce and holly were available here, but there were also other things such as bittersweet vine and cranberries which were late autumn items that could be stretched into December.

Now, I believe that one reason decorating for the seasons has become such a big deal is that the commercial world has capitalized on the already existing tendencies or interest.  The manufacturers of goods have come up with a massive array of artificial decorations and many different products.  Gardening stores, food markets and florists have offered a variety of real plants, foods, vegetables, fruits and flowers.  Seasonal sales have become a big, big deal for them all.  It is very profitable, and every year there are a number of holidays and seasons that can be used to promote sales.  In short, it’s a huge money making opportunity for them.  In somewhat more recent times Halloween, Independence Day (July 4th), Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and perhaps other days have been built into more than they originally were as well.  Pushing the “seasonal décor” relating to these holidays, in addition to the others, has increased the profits of sellers and increased the amount of purchasing and decorating being done.

It has not been that difficult to convince a willing market to increase their spending and decorating habits in relation to the seasons.  In addition to the increased advertising, DIY and crafting sources (shows, web pages, catalogs, etc.) and decorating experts have added to the “need” for seasonal décor.  They have introduced a vast array of “possibilities” and often offered products from “sponsors” to make the projects easier.  If you want to you can now redecorate your entire house for some holidays or seasons such as Christmas and autumn.  Basically it’s very clever marketing, and it works or they wouldn’t do it.

So, I guess the short answer would be that our distinct and beautiful seasons combined with the holidays being pushed and promoted by sellers of goods has resulted in a tendency of many to over-do things as far as decorating for the seasons is concerned.

For my own part, I don’t object to some modest changes of décor for the seasons.  I enjoy it and would probably bring in natural things more if I could or needed to.  As it is, I do some seasonal decorating, but mostly in one place – the dining room, and mostly on the buffet and table there. 

Fall and spring tend to be my favorites for changing up the décor, but I also have a collection of snow themed items that I use most years in the winter.  Summer is a long season here in Texas, so what I put out then stays the longest I think; and perhaps our fewer real seasons here is one reason I like to decorate a little inside.  I have pretty much limited myself to one large storage tub for my seasonal items.  Except for the natural things I sometimes use (pumpkins, squash, flowers, etc.), I store most of the items I use in that tub and try not to accumulate more than that.  I probably need to “delete” a few items.

I don’t mind changing the few items on the buffet and table, and the table sometimes gets changed randomly (a different table cloth or placemats for whatever reason).  Some few of the items are year round items that stay in the mix anyway, or can if I want them to. :-)  Some things just get moved from their normal spot to the buffet for the season so it is more rearranging those items.

My spring décor on the buffet a few years back.
The rabbit pitcher and strawberries are “regulars” in my décor elsewhere, I just moved them for the season.  Also, I’d been thinking I wanted some artificial daffodils for spring, but I didn’t buy them right away and I was so glad I didn’t because I found these with the hyacinths(?) later in a box in the garage.  I’d forgotten I had them they’d been packed up so long.  So, I got to “shop my own stuff”. :-)

My Fall décor a year or two ago.
Yes that is a rug on the right.  We got it for fifty cents at a yard sale. :-)  The beautiful doily was made by my Gramma Hoover and is a “regular” there.  I’m thinking the cat tails need to be “deleted”.

And some winter décor.
As you can see, the blue basket gets used a lot.  It isn’t always out, but I find it very versatile.  Also, the verse with the kookaburra stays all the time.  It was made for me by my Aussie sister-in-law and it goes with anything really.  The snowmen are sitting on quilt batting, in case you wondered and the poinsettia is artificial too.  I think I got it marked way down at the end of the season one year. :-)

My dining room table one year at Thanksgiving.
The “runner” is just two placemats. :-)
The leaves are artificial and were snipped from a “bush”.
I saved seeds from the little squash and my dad grew some the next couple years.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Birth of Jesus Christ – Part 8, Matthew 1:18-21


If you missed the first parts of this study on the birth of Jesus, you may wish to go back and start at the beginning.

We are going to pick up the story in Matthew this week in order to see Joseph’s side of the story and how the Lord took care of Mary when she was found with child by the Holy Ghost.  What appeared to Joseph as a fearful situation, and likely did to Mary also, is turned to good when God steps in and takes care of things for both of them.

Read Here: Matthew 1:18-21 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

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.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sew Happy Friday – Free Easy Bag Pattern


Here’s a link to a free bag pattern by Jen Eskridge over at Reanna Lily Designs:  Free Beach Bag Pattern.  You can download the PDF file for the bag here.

(Photo property of Jen Eskridge.)

She is calling this a beach bag, but I think it could be useful in a lot of other ways.  How about for carrying blankets, snacks and pillows for a picnic, fireworks or a concert in the park?  Or maybe it could even carry a kid’s sleeping bag to Grandma’s house. :-)  With some snaps along the top it could even serve as an overnight bag, or as a bag to carry “extras” for baby on a long day out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Just for Fun – Time for Thought


When told the reason for Daylight Saving time the old Indian said, "Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket."
- Author Unknown


There's a lot of people in this world who spend so much time watching their health that they haven't the time to enjoy it.
- Josh Billings

Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.
- Will Rogers

A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours. 
- John B. Priestly

How long a minute is, depends on which side of the bathroom door you're on.

Time flies like the wind, and fruit flies like peaches.

You know you’ve arrived in the West when they start measuring distance by time instead of miles.

Time is like money, the less we have of it to spare the further we make it go.
- Josh Billings

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.
- Will Rogers


How did it get so late so soon?
It’s night before it’s afternoon.
December is here before it’s June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?
- Dr. Seuss

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I Will Trust Him – A Poem by Martha Snell Nicholson

Here is a poem by Martha Snell Nicholson on the subject of living with suffering and pain.  For those who live with illnesses or health problems that continue on for long periods of time, trusting the Lord in life may be more difficult than trusting Him in death.  Mrs. Nicholson herself suffered for over 35 years from four incurable diseases that caused her to become bedridden.  She understood the challenges and pain of a life of suffering very well.

Job 13:15-16 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.

I Will Trust Him

"Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him."
I recall, when I was young,
That I thought these words the bravest
Ever said by mortal tongue.

For my heart knew only laughter,
And my feet were light and fleet…

Continue Reading.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Evening Song – Like A River Glorious


Psalms 46:4  There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

John 4:13-14  Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.