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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Hard Questions: Is It Your Christian Duty to Vote?

Is It Your Christian Duty to Vote?

Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

This was an article that I wasn't sure I wanted to write this year.  There has been so much said by so many that I hesitated to add my thoughts as it seemed like there was too much already.  The thing that made me reconsider is all the drama I've seen and heard about how it is American Christians' duty before God to vote.  The misuse of scripture in some instances has bothered me.  Added to this is the overwhelming pressure that various Christian people and groups are putting on others to try to force them to vote for the person they deem to be "the right one".  In the hopes of helping a few people get a little peace about this, I decided to venture forth into a topic that is generally odious to me.  So, here we go.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Evening Song - Who Is On the Lord's Side?

After reading my friend Stephanie's post of this great old hymn at her blog, The Enchanting Rose, I wanted to post this song here for an Evening Song.

Exodus 32:26  Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.

Friday, October 28, 2016

FREE Scripture Graphic - Mark 10:7-8 - Marriage

Here is a wedding themed scripture verse for you today because this is our anniversary. :-)

Right click on the graphic below to save it, or click here to go to a higher resolution version and click the download icon in the lower right corner to save it.  The same instructions apply to the blank one below (click here for the higher resolution blank version).

I don't remember where I found this vintage graphic.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Tennessee Memories - A Glorious Ending

Ecclesiastes 3:1  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Photos taken in Roane County Park, Tennessee around 2005.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October - A Poem by Annie Fellows Johnston

Photo by Justin N. Used by permission. Smokey Mts.

Here is a joyful yet pensive poem about October and autumn that I quite enjoyed.  I posted it over at the Home Maker's Corner.  (Annie Fellows Johnston is not to be confused with Annie Johnson Flint, whose poems I often post.)


Across the stubble fields the lazy breezes pass,
From Autumn orchards sloping southward in the sun,
Where dropping from the low-hung branches, one by one,
The apples hide in tangles of the wind-blown grass.
A warm, sweet scent of mellow fruit fills all the air...

Please click here to continue reading.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Three Journeys - A Poem by Martha Snell Nicholson

Philippians 2:5-9  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:


Three long journeys the Lord Christ took;
One from heaven when He forsook

Ivory mansions and throne and crown,
And His FATHER's presence, and He came down

Far from the angels' songs of praise,
Picking His path through star-strewn ways.

Did His heart grow heavy, His footsteps slow,
Knowing what waited Him here below --

That His journey's end was a crowded inn
in a world of grief and fear and sin?

A little Babe with a small weak cry,
A babe as helpless as you or I.

So His second journey was begun,
A lonely road for God's own Son.

His dusty feet were bruised and torn,
His flesh was weary, His garments worn;

The Lord of glory hungered for bread,
And He had not where to lay His head.

The road led on to Calvary's hill.
(Pause here and worship, hushed and still.)

A hill and a Cross against the sky.
The reeling world heard His final cry.

"It is finished!" From throne to grave,
Two long journeys our souls to save!

Then the Lord Christ yearned for the lights of home,
Earth could not hold Him, nor entomb.

The angels chorused in glad refrain
As the Lord of glory came home again,

Treading the skies with eager feet.
Think of the moment when they meet,

The FATHER and His beloved Son!
Think of His accolade, "Well done!"

-  Martha Snell Nicholson

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Evening Song - When Morning Gilds the Skies - May Jesus Christ Be Praised

1 Peter 4:11  If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Not all of these verses are sung in the this version, but I've included them for your edification. :-)

When morning gilds the skies,
My heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer,
To Jesus I repair;
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Does sadness fill my mind?
A solace here I find,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Or fades my earthly bliss?
My comfort still is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When sleep her balm denies,
My silent spirit sighs,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
When evil thoughts molest,
With this I shield my breast:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

The night becomes as day
When from the heart we say:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
The pow’rs of darkness fear
When this sweet chant they hear:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

In heav’n’s eternal bliss
The loveliest strain is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let earth, and sea, and sky
From depth to height reply,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this, while life is mine,
My song of love divine:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Sing this eternal song
Through all the ages long:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

- Unknown

Friday, October 21, 2016

Sew Happy Friday - Make An Easy Cathedral Window Block - Tutorial with Jenny Doan

Jenny Doan from Missouri Star Quilt Co. shows us how to make an easy cathedral window block in this tutorial.  Constructing an actual quilt or table runner is a bit more challenging than making a single block, so be sure to watch the instructions carefully if you plan to make anything that involves more than one block. :-)  I hope to make a single block, and will try to remember to let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Did You Meme That? #1 - Don't You Dare Shrink Yourself...

I'm starting a new page at the Home Maker's Corner called "Words Mean Things".  I have had a growing burden for awhile about various issues related to words, writing, and speaking, and it seemed like it would be good to consider some of these things.  The first section to be added on this page is "Did You Meme That?" - a discussion of various memes that I've collected on blogs and in social media.  This is the first meme in that series.


"Don't you dare shrink yourself for some else's comfort. Do not become small for people who refuse to grow."  Source unknown.

Because there is so much emphasis put on being strong and smart, and even fierce, these days, it could be a temptation to think that this is good advice.  But, as Christians we should ask how it measures up to the Bible and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:5-8   Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

We often hear and quote verse 5 without the following verses.  The mind of Christ is not about being big and important.  In fact, although He knew that He was equal with God as His Son, He did shrink Himself for the comfort of others!  He intentionally became "small" for people who didn't know how to grow or wouldn't.  He became a servant, He humbled Himself so that He could die for our sins and give us the comfort of salvation and eternal life!

When He was living on this earth He could talk with a woman who had had five husbands and was living with the man she then had without making her feel small (John 4:5 and following).  He could live with fishermen without making them feel small or ignorant.  He could tell a woman found in adultery to "go and sin no more" without making her feel worthless (John 8:11).  No, the key to not making others feel small is to humble ourselves as Jesus did, to shrink ourselves so that we can comfort others at the level of their suffering.

Someone might argue that the Pharisees and scribes were small-minded, which is true in some ways; but we tend to forget that they were the spiritual elite of their day and were held in high esteem.  They were the ones who refused to become small in order to help others learn to grow.  Jesus Christ rejected their high handed methods.

Romans 12:16  Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

We tend to think of condescension as a bad thing because of its modern usage.  But, let's look at where it came from.  "Condescend" comes from the Latin: "con" - together; "descendere" - descend.  It came to us through the Old French and in the Middle English it meant to "give way, or defer".  I think we've lost a good word somewhere along the way because literally this means to descend together - we might think of all coming to the same level with no one being above another (not to be high minded or exalting ourselves or others above measure, 2 Corinthians 12:7).  It also has the idea of giving way to others or deferring to one another.  In other words, being kind and not thinking more highly or ourselves than we ought.  Romans 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

According to Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, we find that "condescend" once meant "To depart voluntarily from the privileges of superiority; to sink willingly to equal terms with inferiors...To consent to do more than mere justice can require...To stoop; to bend...To agree to, or concur with."

Some of this reminds me of Jesus voluntarily taking upon Himself the form of a servant and stooping to our low estate as mere humans so that He could help us.  Whether the low estate of others is social, intellectual or spiritual, we have a truly astounding example in Jesus Christ who humbled Himself in all areas to meet us where we are.

Obviously, there are times and situations in which we cannot agree or concur with someone's small ideas of life, the Bible, right and wrong, and the world.  But, we can ask ourselves, "How can I point this person's thoughts toward the truth as Christ has done for me?"  Because, if we're honest with ourselves, we've all been that small minded person at some point in our lives and needed to have our views and ideas expanded in a way that would make us more conformed to the image of God's Son (Romans 8:29).

Strong people who know what they believe and why, are not afraid to meet someone else in the shallow end of the pool and gently help them learn to swim in deeper waters, so to speak.  Our family has a friend who is a very knowledgeable person.  He has studied long and hard and my brother has heard him discuss theology at a level that most of us would find almost impossible to understand.  But, he has a praiseworthy ability to level himself in whatever company he finds himself.  He can talk to people where they are mentally, spiritually, and in their education without them ever realizing that he is so far ahead of them in so many ways.  I respect him much in the Lord for this.  It is a real example to me of what it means to condescend in the biblical sense of the word.

To make ourselves small so that God might be made great in the eyes of someone else, this is the mind Christ.  We do not have to deny our own abilities or who we are before God to do this because Jesus did not deny His own deity, but He denied Himself in many ways so that He might bring us life.

Luke 9:23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

1 Peter 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Evening Song - In Christ Alone

Romans 8:35-39  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Cheap, Pretty, and Good - Tutorial for Recovering A Lamp Shade

Here is a tutorial from The House of Hepworths blog showing how to make a tired lamp shade over again.  I thought it could be quite useful, and it could save some money as well.  I haven't had an opportunity to used this method yet, but I might at some point.

How to Recover A Lamp Shade

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Why We Do Not Celebrate Halloween

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

There has been a good deal said on both sides of the issue as to whether Christians should celebrate Halloween or not.  I don't feel called upon to write anything much more than what I have already said before, but I wanted to share some things that others have written and also link to what I wrote before.

Personally, I don't see why it is so hard for some people to understand the problem with Halloween. The celebration of death, darkness, and evil seems to be obviously contrary to scripture, no matter how you look at it.  As one writer has pointed out, if you look up death and darkness in the Bible you will not find it being a good and lovely thing.  There are a few references to death being good for the Christian or Old Testament believer, but it is never such for the lost and the world in general.  Here are a few verses that come to mind -

Continue Reading Here.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Evening Song - Beneath the Cross of Jesus

Galatians 6:14  But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Reader(?) Comments - Corny Spam

Vintage ad from 1939.
From tumblr.

Spam is one of my least favorite things to eat.  I used to be able to tolerate it, though I didn't like it especially well.  Now half a slice makes me sick.  Blah.  No thanks.

I don't like spam in email.  It's such a nuisance.  But, I also get my share of spam comments on the blog (one reason comments are moderated).  However, I have to admit that some of them make me laugh sometimes. :-)

Here is one that tickled me:

"I have read so many articles regarding the blogger lovers but this piece of writing is really a nice article, keep it up. Here is my blog navigate..." (Obviously I'm not giving them free advertising, so you don't get the link.)

What was funny to me was that it was written on my Curried Cheese Ball post.  It is nice to know that a recipe is a "really nice" piece of writing.  :-)

This one is funny because it looks to me like someone who used Google translate to try to get the English for what they wanted to say.  It makes enough sense that it isn't just one of those garbled collections of mixed phrases.  What do you think?

"Pretty component to content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed account your weblog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing in your feeds and even I fulfillment you get admission to consistently rapidly."  (Advertising blurb removed)

Then there was this one, which was spam put up for a dancing school somewhere in the world (I checked the link).  It was posted on the the Tomatillo Salsa recipe.

"The solution to this issue is basically being aware of the issue. Once we know that feeling odd is OK, and not an indication that we are moving incorrectly, that feeling is less likely to affect the way we dance. Still, to be better partner dancers, we would rather it all feel natural."

For those readers who do not know - salsa is both a sauce and a dance. :-)  I wonder what kind of dance the "Tomatillo Salsa" is, though.

Last, but not least, there was this jewel advertising hair extensions.  Most of it was just chatter but, the way it starts is worth a chuckle to me.  :-)

"Are you exhausted of your vintage faishon hairstyle? Do you like long hairs and your hairs are too short? Do you desire to change hair method and make them as attractive as most of the celebrities have?"

Actually, I am not exhausted of my "vintage faishon hairstyle".  I've worn my hair in the present style for a long time and since it suits me and is relatively easy, I'm fine with it.  :-)

Also, while I like "long hairs" I don't feel like my "hairs" are too short.  In fact, I could probably still grow my hair out if I wanted to, but it gives me such headaches that I am very glad that we are not expected to have "long hairs" these days.  I've often thought I would have been miserable in "the good old days" with my hair long and piled on my head, because my head does not get used to it and it goes from headaches to burning scalp.  I never kept on beyond that stage because I didn't want to find out if it would start falling out in quantity.  So, no.  I'm good with my "short hairs". :-)

Lastly, I couldn't care less how the celebrities wear their hair.  If they all started shaving their heads it would make no difference to me.  [I think it's amusing that they put in that clarifying phrase "most of".  Apparently even they don't consider all celebrities to have attractive hair.] :-)

Probably many of these blog spammers are speaking English as a second language, or in one case using a translator.  I freely admit that I would do a lot worse in their various languages and they would get to laugh at me if I tried.  But, we have to see the humor in the things that annoy us sometimes - in this case spam - or we will go rancid before our expiration date.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Texas Memories - Fredericksburg Porch

Mark 6:31  And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Monthly Challenge - October 2016

This month's challenge is again reaching out to others, but in a little different way than usual.


Write a letter to a child or young person.


Offer to babysit someone's children so that they can have a date night or make a shopping trip without their kids in tow.


Why this?

Matthew 19:14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Sometimes we overlook the obvious.  Mothers with children at home may not think about other people's kids as being in need of their ministry.  Women whose children have left home, or who never had any children, may not think about reaching out to kids in this way.  For this reason, I recommend that the children chosen to receive letters not be your own kids - unless they are far from home for some reason and you don't usually write to them by snail mail anyway.  Grandchildren, nieces and nephews, etc. are fine. :-)  Moms, you may want to include your own children in writing letters to other kids.  This would double the blessing.

I am guessing that there are a lot of children and young people in this world now who have never received a snail mail letter in their lives.  This is something that we can help change. :-)

The second part is probably self-evident.  There are moms (and dads) who could benefit from a chance to go out as a couple, or alone as the case may be.  Offering, instead of waiting to be asked, makes it easier for them.  And, please don't expect to be paid for this.  The idea is to render a service free of charge.  Some parents can't even afford a babysitter anyway.

I hope this will be a blessing and help to someone.  ...remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.  Acts 20:35

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Heavy Laden - A Poem by Martha Snell Nicholson

"From the Forest" by Mykola Pymonenko

Matthew 11:28  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

The Heavy Laden

For most there is one heavy cross
Which must be borne alone;
One piercing sorrow sealed by lips
Which dare to make no moan.

Some noxious brew within the cup
Which they must lift and drink,
Some bitter bread which they must eat
Though flesh and spirit shrink;

Some gnawing cancer of the soul,
Some never-opened door;
Some sunless, unplumbed depth of woe,
O aching heart and sore,

The tender Lord who made men's hearts
Can understand them too,
Can solve those desperate problems which
So long have baffled you.

Open to Him those long-closed doors,
Trust Him, and wait and see
What wonders He can bring to pass.
Or even if it be

You still must bear your heavy Cross,
You bear it not alone;
Nor drink alone your bitter wine,
But share it with that One

Who drank the cup of gall for us,
And bids us come and rest
These weary troubled hearts of ours
Forever on His breast.

by Martha Snell Nicholson

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Evening Song - Jesus Is the Sweetest Name I Know

Philippians 2:9-10  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;