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Sunday, June 26, 2016

So Far, So Near - A Poem by Martha Snell Nicholson

Revelation 14:12-13  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

In loving memory of my husband's grandmother who stepped across that great divide into the presence of her Savior this month, and in memory of my sister-in-law's mother who took that same journey ten years ago this month.

So Far, So Near

Such a little while
In which to go so far.
A heartbeat . . . She was gone
Beyond the farthest star!

But space as well as time
To God are but a breath.
And He who gave us life
Is master too of death.

And whether quick or dead
We rest within His hand;
Whether here or in
That brighter, fairer Land.

These precious dead of ours,
They will return some day
Along the star-strewn road
Which took them far away.

The Lord Himself our Guide-
A shout of joy, a light-
And through the open skies
We too shall take our flight!

A Jacob's ladder there,
By faith I see it rise,
A pathway up to God,
A stairway in the skies!

By Martha Snell Nicholson

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Evening Song - Just As I Am - [FREE Graphic]

John 3:16-17  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.

Please feel free to save and use this graphic.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Tutorial for Making A Picket Fence Block

Here is a short tutorial showing how to make the picket fence quilt.

In this tutorial Susan Claire, the Gourmet Quilter, shows how to use our rulers to draw a 45° sewing line in order to sew two rectangles together.  This is useful if you have never seen it done before.

Note that once she cuts the 5" square in half, she is using 2 1/2" strips.  So, you could just cut 4 1/2" segments from 2 1/2" inch strips (or use a jelly roll) for these blocks.  This would be a great scrappy project if you cut your quilting scraps into 5" squares or 2 1/2" strips for future use.

You could also make this in a larger size if you like.  That would take a little math to get the proportions correct, but it would shorten the time to make the project as well. :-)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Thoughts from the Past – A Place to Belong

First posted here April 2011. Edited.

Dec. 29, 2005
A Place to Belong

As people we have a natural desire to belong - family, tribe, nation, etc. This was given to us by our Creator. As Christians we have a supernatural desire to be part of a church, or more simply to belong to a group that bears the name of Christ.

In these perilous times, those who desire to live by the word of God, rather than man's traditions, too often find themselves being shouldered out of churches and fellowship with other believers. Our Lord Jesus said, Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Luke 6:22  If we know that our "offence" is following Christ above all others, then we can rest in this promise of the God's blessing. This is comforting, but there is still a painful side to being cast out of the church (John 9:22, 3 John 9-10).

There is a sweet promise given to the Philadelphians in Revelation 3. This was the church that kept Christ's word and did not deny His name (v. 8). While this was a real church in John's day, and also appears to be an era of church history, there is an application today also for those who strive to walk as Philadelphians. Their rewards are available to all saints who overcome according to the Lord's promise.

Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

This verse really blessed me the first time I noticed the significance of it and the application for those of us who have been "cast out of the synagogue", so to speak. There is a human desire to have a building associated with the church. Human nature also wants a name - a denomination, if you will - to describe itself and associate itself with. It usually wants a tribe or nation to claim as the best or "God blessed" ("God bless America," national flags in "church", tribalism and nationalism in the church, etc.). In short, we want a place to belong. Something that can be seen, felt and understood with the natural senses.  We desire this even in spite of Jesus words to the woman at the well.  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father...But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:21, 23-24

By faith, which ...is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, Heb. 11:1; we look ...for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Heb. 11:10  By choosing to associate ourselves with the unseen rather than the seen or temporal, we have the promise of all this and more.  But look at what God promises to the Philadelphians who overcome: a building - the temple of God Almighty; to never be cast out again(!);  a "label" - the name of God Himself and the name of His Son, Jesus Christ; and the name of a city, a national identity not to be ashamed of - the new Jerusalem.  

What JOY. Here is a place where man has no authority to decide if we "belong."  Here is a place where one name is sufficient for all.  Here is a place where we are saved ...out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; Rev. 5:9 (emphasis added).

Christ Jesus does not ask us to suffer more than He did.  Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. 13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.  By the grace of God let us be willing to go forth unto Him without the camp in this life, bearing His reproach for His sake, so that we may rejoice greatly in time to come when we lay hold on a name and an eternal place where we belong!

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John 14:2-3  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.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Demonstration of Water Color Paintings of the Four Seasons

This is either a demonstration or a very simplistic tutorial, but whatever you want to call it, I have enjoyed watching it more than once and I thought today I'd share here with you.  I hope you like it too. :-)

Genesis 8:21-22  And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.  While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Tennessee Memories - Signs of Spring

These are photographs I took before we were married when my family lived in Tennessee.  I was going through some old pictures and thought I'd like to share some of them here.  Enjoy!



Wren's nest (?)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Reflecting Tree

Photo taken at Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee circa 2004.

The Reflecting Tree

by Mary E. Stephens

Somewhere on the side of a woodland hill
Where last year's trillium bloomed;
There stands a lonely little tree,
That lives in a constant gloom.
The taller trees stand o'er its head,
For they long since passed it by;
And it vainly stretches its spindly trunk
As it reaches for the sky...

Continue Reading at my web site.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Evening Song - All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name

I recommend turning up the volume to allow for a fuller voiced effect. :-)

Hebrews 2:9  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Revelation 4:11  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Cheap, Pretty and Good - DIY Tin Can Lanterns

Photo property of DIY & Craft Ideas

These tin can lanterns would be fun and pretty for summer nights outside, either eating or visiting.  You could make them useful by using citronella candles to keep the mosquito away, I suppose - assuming those things actually work. (I've never tried them.)

This site offer very simple instructions.  Pay attention to the instructions about filling them with water and freezing them as this would help to keep the cans in shape. :-)

DIY Tin Can Lanterns at DIY & Craft Ideas

"This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine...
Let it shine till Jesus comes, I'm going to let it shine."

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Creatures Great and Small - An Unusual Adventure with A Snail

I realize this is not my usual sort of photo blog, but how often do you see a snail "doing his daily business" (as my grandpa would have called it)?  We have a lot of snails where we live in Texas, especially in damp times of the year.  This one was on our sliding glass door several years ago and I took a series of pictures, which happened to catch him doing a little....er, housekeeping.  I thought it was very interesting to see a snail from the underside.

A snail upon my windowpane,
Doing his business in the rain,
Boring and ugly though he be,
This - a very strange sight to see.


Here he is squishing himself back up inside of his shell.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Monthly Challenge - June 2016

So, this month we are back to the monthly challenges!  Yay!

Since we were focusing on improving ourselves and our lives in April, this month we'll go back to reaching out to others.


Give a gift to someone who has no reason to expect a gift from you.


Send a greeting card to someone who needs encouragement.


Acts 20:35  I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The gift may be as big or as small, as fancy or as ordinary as you wish.  It may be of any value - even a bouquet of wildflowers which cost you nothing but a little effort. :-)  It could be the gift of your time.

Ephesians 4:32  And be ye kind one to another...

The greeting card is pretty self-explanatory.

And that's it for this time.  Quite simple really. :-)


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Thoughts from the Past -- Everlasting Strength

Oct. 30, 2006 [Edited]
Everlasting Strength

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 4 Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Verse 3 is commonly quoted, and it is a good and sweet promise. In fact, it was through a song based upon this verse that my Grandma Van Nattan came to realize her own need of peace with God and was ultimately saved.

However, I had not really noticed verse 4 till recently. Everlasting strength! What a wonderful thought that is for us in these amazingly weak bodies of flesh! What more could we ask for? Yes, we are plagued with weakness, but God's strength is greater, and it is longer - it is everlasting. It will never give out or let us down.

I am also reminded of Paul's words:

Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

By God's grace we have access to the everlasting strength of the Lord Jehovah through Jesus Christ our Lord. Truly He is a God worthy of being trusted forever.

Post Script – 2012

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I really struggle with strength, or the lack thereof.  Physical weakness, mental and emotional weakness, spiritual weakness – they all can be a real challenge.  But, what a comfort it is know that in the LORD there is everlasting strength.  This is connected closely with that perfect peace that we desire because when our minds are staid on the Lord, we can keep His everlasting strength in view.  The tendency to dwell on my own weaknesses is a surely a weight that I need to lay aside!  God is so abundantly able to do more than I can ask or think and His strength is everlasting.  Why do I fret so much about not being “able”?

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.

When I Think of Thee by Annie Johnson Flint

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Evening Song - Be Unto Your Name

Revelation 4:8  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Food Memories - Mixed Berry Muffins

My husband is a good baker.  Several years ago he was making whole wheat muffins, and instead of the usual frozen blueberries he substituted mixed frozen berries at my request.  They were really delicious!  We shared them at a family breakfast and they were enjoyed by all. Please do try this at home!  :-)