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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Morning Song - I Shall not Be Moved

Since I put up a regular post last night instead of the usual evening song, here is a morning song for your Lord's Day. :-)

Jeremiah 17:7-8  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Their words are a little different than the version with which I am familiar, but it's still fine.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Anniversary of the Jarrell Tornado - Memorial and Thoughts

Psalms 148:7-8  Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word:

Today, May 27th 2017, marks the twenty year anniversary of the deadly Jarrell, Texas tornado and the other tornadoes and storms that broke out in central Texas that day.

I decided to make a post in memory of the event and the 28 people who died that day because this occurred in the county in which we live. We did not live here at the time, but one brother and my sister were weather buffs and also we had friends living in the area at the time, so we knew about it and it was the storm by which many other storms were measured for a long time in our family. Probably it still is.

Here is the video put together by the National Weather Service. It does not contain any footage that I consider to be traumatic or overly terrifying. (If you wish to see stuff like that, you'll have to find it yourself. There will probably be more "recommended" at the end of this video. Know that I do not control those, so if you continue looking you do so at your own risk. Some of it may be very disturbing to some people.)

Here is the web page put together by the National Weather Service:

Jarrell Tornado Anniversary

Quote from article: "A deadly severe weather episode unfolded across portions of Central Texas during the afternoon and evening hours on Tuesday, May 27th, 1997.  This event was made infamous by one of the most powerful tornadoes on record: an F5 which tore through a subdivision of Jarrell called Double Creek Estates in extreme northern Williamson County during the mid-afternoon. Some of the most extreme damage on record occurred with this tornado, and one account states that “the earth was scoured bare, pavement was ripped from roadways, [and] homes and other buildings were completely pulverized” (Lon Curtis, Weather Bulletin).  Two tornadoes also touched down in the Austin Metro area: an F3-rated tornado in Cedar Park and an F4-rated tornado near Lakeway.

"..over the course of roughly six hours, 20 tornadoes touched down across the Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin/San Antonio forecast areas of responsibility."


Events like this are very difficult to understand from a human perspective. The loss of life and property, the horror of the aftermath, and the incredible power of nature in its most violent forms are hard to deal with humanly. We wonder why God allows things like this to happen.

For my own part, I don't have a comforting answer that will set all the questions at rest. I kind of doubt that anyone does. There are a few thoughts that come to mind, though.

One is, Isaiah 55:8-9,  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

As hard as it is for us to accept this, sometimes we have no other way to turn except to acknowledge that we don't think like God does. Someday we may learn some reason for things like this or we may not. Ultimately, we have to accept that the Lord is in control, even when bad things happen, and we can't always expect to explain everything He does. If we could, He wouldn't be God.

Another reason for things like this may be that the earth's weather patterns, and even its contours, have changed since the Great Flood in Noah's day. It may be that there are laws of nature that have come into play now that were not present when the earth was watered with a mist before the Flood (Gen. 2:6). Of course, God still is ultimately in control, but He also has set laws of nature and life in motion which we cannot avoid.

Now, I am aware that there are people in this world who will try to blame events like this on conspiracies. They will accuse the government or some other entity of "messing with the weather" and so forth, in order to explain things that seem too abnormal for them to comprehend. First of all, I refer you to point one - we will never understand God's thinking as long as we are on this earth - "under the sun" as Solomon called it. But, furthermore, even if there are "conspiracies" of this sort, God is still in control. There is no entity great or more powerful than He is, and so to live in fear of those things is wasteful at best, sinful at worst. Hebrews 13:5-6  ...for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Matthew 5:44-45 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

The Lord gives good weather blessings to both the just and the unjust - sunshine and rain, the things necessary to produce food and so much of life's necessities. But, the opposite is true as well. He allows tragic natural disasters to come to both the unjust and the just.

Some people will say that these events are always the judgment of God on unrighteous people. This may occasionally be true, but only in situations where a very clear target has been singled out. Most of the time, though, this isn't likely or plainly isn't true. We know that because things like this happen to both the just and the unjust. Church buildings and brothels are destroyed, Bourbon Street and the homes of Christian families, grocery stores and schools, bars and restaurants that belong to Christians. God is no respecter of persons in such situations. Yes, He sometimes gives some of His children special care and deliverance, but other times He uses such events to "hit the reset button" on their lives, so to speak. Having so much of one's possessions destroyed in a tornado or hurricane or flood or earthquake does force one to start over. Even more, at times the Lord uses something like this to take His own children home to Himself.

2 Kings 2:11  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. [Please note that Elijah went up into heaven in a whirlwind, not in a chariot of fire.]

Some years ago, one older Christian couple in Tennessee died together in a tornado near the town of Crossville. Their children concluded that the Lord allowed them to die together because they could not have lived apart from each other had they died separately as most couples do. How could they view it that way?

It all comes down to faith. Ultimately, we have to accept that God does things we don't understand. He allows the natural course of His natural laws to play out sometimes in ways that are tragic from our point of view. And, as with so many things in life, He allows His children to experience some of the same tragedies that the world does so that they can extend His comfort and compassion to others. If nothing bad ever happened to Christians most people would want to be one only for the "protection policy," not from true repentance and faith in the Lord. Is that not so?

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

So, this is where we have to lay down our frustrations and vain strivings to understand what God is doing and just say with Job, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him..." Job 13:15  And also say as Nebuchadnezzar did after his conversion,  "And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" Daniel 4:35

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sermon In a Stocking

Sermon In A Stocking

The supper is over, the hearth is swept,
And in the wood-fire's glow,
The children cluster to hear a tale
Of the time so long ago.

When Grandmamma's hair was golden brown
And the warm blood came and went
O'er the face that could scarce have been sweeter then
Than now, in its rich content.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Evening Song - Christ Liveth In Me

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.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Sew Happy Friday - How Wool Is Made

Here is a short video that explains how wool is made into yarn and then woven into fabric.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Thousand Word Project - Bright Spring


How many kinds of sweet flowers grow
In an English country garden?
We'll tell you now of some that we know,
Those we miss you'll surely pardon
Daffodils, heart's ease and flox,
Meadowsweet and lady smocks,
Gentian, lupine and tall hollihocks,
Roses, foxgloves, snowdrops, blue forget-me-nots;
In an English country garden.

From "An English Country Garden"
(I was not able to determine for sure who wrote this. Original spelling maintained.)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother’s Question

 I'm reposting this from May 2013 as it is a particularly good reminder.

Mother's Question

I think as the night draws nigh
Of an old house on the hill,
Of a yard all wide and blossom-starred
Where the children played at will.
And when the night at last came down,
Hushing the merry din,
Mother would look around and ask,
"Are all the children in?"

'Tis many and many a year since then.
And the old house on the hill
No longer echoes to childish feet,
And the yard is still, so still.
But I see it all, as the shadows creep,
And though many the years have been
Since then, I can hear mother ask,
"Are all the children in?"

I wonder if when the shadows fall
On the last short, earthly day,
When we say good-bye to the world outside,
All tired with our childish play.
When we step over to Jesus' Land
Where mother so long has been,
Will we hear her ask, just as of old,
"Are all the children in?"

By One of the Children

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to
hear that my children walk in truth.

What about your mother's children?
Will they all be "in" when the trumpet of
the Lord shall sound and time shall be no more?

The Gospel of Jesus Christ

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Evening Song - Still You Satisfy

Proverbs 19:23  The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

Psalms 107:8-9  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Sew Happy Friday - Gift Bag Using Fabric Strips

Here's a tutorial for making a gift bag with 2 1/2" strips of fabric. You can use leftover strips from a jelly roll (pre-cut), or you can use ones that you cut yourself.

As some of my readers know, we don't celebrate Christmas, but this gift bag could be used in a lot of different ways. It would make a great bag for carrying small hand projects when traveling or visiting. It could be used as a "pajama pillow" for kids to store their p.j.s or nightgowns neatly during the day. It could be useful as gift bag for any occasion. (I think it would be nice with a scarf in it for a lady - Mother's Day, graduation, gifts for bride's maids, bridal shower, birthday, etc.)

One thing I want to note here: Vanessa used a Frixion pen for drawing the lines on the outside ("pretty side") surface of her bag. A friend and I have both found that sometimes Frixion pens will take out the color of the fabric when they are ironed to remove the ink. Although the disappearing ink which becomes invisible when touched with a hot iron has it's uses in sewing and quilting, we recommend that you only use it in areas where it will be hidden inside from view (like when she marks the corners on the inside). The pens are handy and you certainly can go ahead and use it the way that Vanessa does, but just know you may see faded lines when you iron it. However, if you are careful to sew directly on those lines they will be less visible, or perhaps not show at all.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Thousand Word Project - Late Snow

Job 37:6  For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth; likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength.

Some areas have had unseasonably late snow this spring, so I thought I'd share one of my favorite photos. :-)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Free Printable - Mother You Are A Blessing - Card Making and Art

I shared this graphic a few years ago, but I thought I'd post it again this year since some of my newer readers might enjoy using it. To save it click on the picture and save it to your computer. Or Click Here and click the download icon in the lower right corner (the arrow pointing down at a line). Please feel free to use it however you like. :-)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

His Mother's Sorrow

Kola Ndoto Hospital, Tanzania in the 1940s.

A true story from my dad about his mother's miscarriage in Africa.

Romans 12:15  Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

Writing Challenge #5 recently went up on my blog. I was blessed and honored to have my own dad decide to take on the challenge and write something. He posted it in the comments there, but I felt like it was important that this get shared in a place where it wouldn't be so easily missed.

As some of you may remember, I have had a burden this year for some young mothers who had their children go straight to heaven from their wombs through miscarriage. As Mother's Day approached this year I've been wondering what I should post. I'm often burdened at this holiday for the women who are outside of the "happy mother" category. When I read this true story from the life of my grandparents by my dad, I felt that the Lord had given me something that needed to be passed on.


NOTE: A couple different people have told me that they tried to leave a comment on this blog post, but I never received it for moderation. If you left a comment and it was never posted, I probably didn't get it. If you have something you especially want me to know, please send email.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Evening Song - He Hideth My Soul

Isaiah 32:2  And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

Exodus 33:21-22  And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:

Friday, May 5, 2017

Writing Challenge #5

This time our challenge is going to relate to mothers since this month is Mother's Day in the U.S. I don't generally make a big deal out of this holiday, but this particular challenge seemed to fit well this month, so here it is.


Write about something that happened to you from your mom's perspective. You may ask her questions about this if you wish to and can. Otherwise, strive to write about how she would have felt based on what you know of her.


I think this one could be a little more challenging than some. You may write this in the first person if you want to, but that isn't necessary if you don't prefer it. I won't be writing in the first person. :-)

Ephesians 6:2  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)


[Photo by Rudolf Duhrkoop, 1909.]

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Words Mean Things - Son of A Gun

by Andy Thomas?

Psalms 19:14  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

The expression "son of a gun" is fairly common in the U.S., I especially heard it when we lived in Arizona and perhaps other parts of the Southwest, which is not surprising as we'll see in a moment. Often it was used as an expression of surprise. Sometimes it may also be used as a sort of affectionate expression from a man to his friend or as a supposedly mild expletive of frustration.

There is some bit of disagreement as to where the expression originated but, from the sources I read, it is likely that the meaning I was told years ago is the correct meaning. Although many people who use it now don't realize it, it was originally a euphemism for "son of a b--." It would probably be more accurate to say that the "gun" refers to a rapist, rogue, or fornicating man and therefore may not necessarily be a slur on the woman so much as the man, unlike the other expression which is denouncing the woman's morals (rightly or wrongly, as the case may be).

In the British Royal Navy it was supposed to have referred to boys who were born on board ship; particularly ones whose fathers were of unknown identity. Apparently in the old days the British navy had a way of overlooking women accompanying men on board - either wives or prostitutes. This led to children being born on the ships whose parentage on their father's side was sometimes unclear. In these cases the "gun" referred to a soldier of unknown identity. It has also apparently been used to refer to the illegitimate children of servicemen (soldiers) in general.

Jump to the American West. I have been told that in the old days when the West was still very wild, "son of a gun" was used in a similar manner, but one indication I have heard is that the "gun" would refer to an outlaw type or perhaps a renegade cowboy. (In modern times "Gun for hire" would refer to the man as a murderer in a similar way - a "gun.") In these cases the women may not have been willing participants but were, in reality, raped.

Basically, what it comes down to is this: as Christians, we need to guard our tongues and the words we speak. I have heard Christians using this expression who very likely have no idea what it means or where it came from. Words do mean things, and sometimes they may mean things of which we are not aware and this could be a blot on our testimony. If you are using an expression of which you do not know the origin, I encourage you to do a little research on the internet. Type it into Google or your favorite search engine with the word "origin" or "definition" and it is likely you will learn at least something about it.

Colossians 4:6  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Proverbs 15:26  The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.