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Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Thousand Word Project - Autumn Memories In Texas


Coleus - red plants above, and below.

These photos were taken at the Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Orange, Texas when we visited in the Fall of 2011.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hard Questions: Can You, Should You Give Thanks for That?

Can You, Should You Be Thankful for That?


Christians sometimes quote 1 Thessalonians 5:18, In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. They may emphasize “In every thing…” and say that we don’t have to give thanks for everything. Yet the Spirit of God clearly tells us through Paul in another place that we should be thankful for all things.

Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

A friend of mine was posting a “31 days of gratitude challenge” in October on Facebook. One of her questions was “What pain are you grateful for?” I had to honestly answer that I couldn’t say that I was thankful for my anxiety disorder, but that it has taught me some important lessons for which I’m thankful. I also haven’t learned to be thankful for migraines, although I am thankful for the sympathy I’ve learned for others through them. But, this shows my limitations, not that it is impossible to give always thanks for all things. I should be thankful for that pain, despite its hardship. Anything that pushes us closer to Jesus Christ and causes us to cast ourselves more wholly upon Him is something to be thankful for, unpleasant as that seems. Like contentment, it is something that we generally have to learn.

Read the whole article here.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Evening Song - No Other Name/Precious Name

The John Marshall Family

Philippians 2:7-11  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: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Friday, November 24, 2017

FREE - Scripture Coloring Page - Leaves

Earlier this year my husband bought me an iPad as a birthday gift. Because he bought me a keyboard to go with it, it has turned out to be a very useful tool for writing. This is primarily because I can sit anywhere to type now, for which I'm very thankful.

He also got me the "Pencil" (stylus) for coloring and drawing. The coloring has been very relaxing and has been helpful in reducing stress. The drawing (mostly tracing really) has been enjoyable as well, although it is more intense physically.

I had thought it would be a good tool for drawing coloring pictures to share here, however, after printing off this copy, I find that the lines are more pixelated than I care for. This is probably either the program or my lack of ability in using it, so I will have to see if I can correct this. However, I decided to share this one with you anyway and you can take it or leave it as you wish.

To download the largest size of this page click here and then click the download icon/button in the lower right corner. This is intended to be printed on 8.5" x 11" printer paper. If you try to save the image here on the blog (above) you will probably be disappointed because it will be much lower quality and probably will turn out very poorly when printed, so please go on over to my smugmug page to download it. :-)

Here is an example that I colored myself with colored pencils.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Greetings 2017

Thank and Praise Jehovah's Name

Thank and Praise Jehovah’s Name;
For His mercies, firm and sure,
From eternity the same
To eternity endure.

Let the ransomed thus rejoice,
Gathered out of every land,
As the people of His choice,
Plucked from the destroyer’s hand.

Let the elders praise the Lord,
Him let all the people praise,
When they meet with one accord,
In His courts on holy days.

Praise Him, ye who know His love;
Praise Him from the depths beneath;
Praise Him in the heights above;
Praise your Maker all that breathe.

For His truth and mercy stand,
Past, and present, and to be,
Like the years of His right hand—
Like His own eternity.

- James Mountain

Revelation 7:11-12  And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thanks to God for Our Redeemer

Thanks to God for Our Redeemer

Thanks to God for my Redeemer,
Thanks for all Thou dost provide!
Thanks for times now but a memory,
Thanks for Jesus by my side!
Thanks for pleasant, balmy springtime,
Thanks for dark and stormy fall!
Thanks for tears by now forgotten,
Thanks for peace within my soul!

Thanks for prayers that Thou hast answered,
Thanks for what Thou dost deny!
Thanks for storms that I have weathered,
Thanks for all Thou dost supply!
Thanks for pain, and thanks for pleasure,
Thanks for comfort in despair!
Thanks for grace that none can measure,
Thanks for love beyond compare!

Thanks for roses by the wayside,
Thanks for thorns their stems contain!
Thanks for home and thanks for fireside,
Thanks for hope, that sweet refrain!
Thanks for joy and thanks for sorrow,
Thanks for heav’nly peace with Thee!
Thanks for hope in the tomorrow,
Thanks through all eternity!

- August L. Storm
member of the Salvation Army in Sweden

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Evening Song - Come, Christian, Join to Sing

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;

Friday, November 17, 2017

Feel Good Friday - Mi Tierra - An Immigrant Story Worth Hearing

This is the true story of the results of the efforts of a Mexican immigrant couple who started a restaurant in San Antonio, Texas. The place has become a landmark through generations of hard work, attention to detail, and quality food and service.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Thousand Word Project - The Rustling Grass

This is my Father's world:
He shines in all that's fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
He speaks to me everywhere.

- Maltbie D. Babcock

(Excerpt from "This Is My Father's World.")

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Was Jesus Homeless?

Something that has come across my path from time to time in various ways is the idea that Jesus was a homeless person. This is used to make Him "relate-able" to homeless people, but I think it is primarily intended to make Christians feel guilty about how they treat the homeless.

Ministering to the poor is an important duty. It is mentioned in the New Testament a number of times. We also see God having pity upon the poor and encouraging us to do so over and over in scripture.

Galatians 2:10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do. 

Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. 

Psalm 9:17-18 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not alway be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.

But, in our zeal to acknowledge the suffering of the homeless it is not appropriate to misrepresent the Lord Jesus Christ.

The thing is that Jesus wasn't homeless. I think that people get the idea He was from this verse:

Matthew 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. 

He had nowhere to lay His head on this earth, but heaven was still His home. He left His home to come and save us.

John 14:2 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.

It was still his father's house, and it was His home. He voluntarily gave up the comforts of His home to be a servant, to walk in the dirt and grime of this world, and to minister; ultimately to bring us eternal salvation. He endured many privations, the suffering of life on this earth, and the horrible death of the cross so that He could make heaven our home too!

John 14:3 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.

1 Peter 2:21-25 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Because Jesus Christ did all that for us, we are called to follow His example.

We are also told to be content with food and raiment.

1 Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 

If you don't have a house, or a car, or a bank account, or property, but only the clothes on your back and some "daily bread," you still have a home if your are a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ. Your home is heaven.

Oh, that is so easy to say and so terribly hard to live out in real life. I have heard and read of believers who were actually homeless and living on the street. This may happen for a number of reasons, and war and persecutions have been two that have caused this throughout the history of the church. In ancient Rome during the severe persecutions a lot of Christians even lived in the tombs under the city - the catacombs, as they are called (which takes some of the awfulness off of the face of it because that word isn't commonly used).

Hebrews 11:37-38 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

My own family was once "homeless" for a few months when a man told my dad to move to California because he had a job and a house for him there. My dad loaded us up (we were four total at the time) and we drove out west from Michigan, only to discover that there was no job and no house. We were just about 7 months home from the missionfield at the time and my dad had thought this was God's leading, so it must have hit him pretty hard. Well, it was the Lord's will, but we had to wait for three months. Thankfully, the man who got us into the mess opened his home for us to live in, but those were difficult days. [Eventually the Lord opened up a place for my dad to serve as a pastor. It was his first pastorate and possibly his best, but we had to go through that trial of not having an earthly home of our own to get there. And, by the way, pastors who live in parsonages do not own "homes" anyway. We lived in that situation for many years.]

I have also known missionaries who lived in very limited situations - in tiny cinder block houses, in a small space within a church building or Bible Institute building, in tiny apartments, in mud houses, in jungle huts, etc. None of them were places they could really call their own. This is part of following the example of Jesus Christ to do His will.

These are the sort of things that happen sometimes to pilgrims who are on a journey to their eternal home. Because we are not called to have nice houses and comfortable lives all the time, or even most of the time in some cases, we often learn to look more hopefully and joyfully to the future home in heaven. Probably this is what the Lord intends by allowing these situations. But no matter the circumstances, we are never really "homeless" and even the best that this world has to offer should be nothing but a temporary dwelling place for us while we "...look for a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." Hebrews 11:10

1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 

Hebrews 11:13-16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. 

We are strangers and pilgrims on this earth, but we have a home in heaven and someday we are going to go there.

Jesus was not "homeless" and neither are we.


The Lights of Home

O the friends that now are waiting,
In the cloudless realms of day,
Who are calling me to follow
Where their steps have led the way;
They have laid aside their armor,
And their earthly course is run;
They have kept the faith with patience
And their crown of life is won.

They are calling, gently calling,
Sweetly calling me to come,
And I’m looking through the shadows
For the blessèd lights of home.

They have laid aside their armor
For the robe of spotless white;
And with Jesus they are walking
Where the river sparkles bright.
We have labored here together,
We have labored side by side,
Just a little while before me
They have crossed the rolling tide.

On those dear familiar faces
There will be no trace of care;
Every sigh was hushed forever
At the palace gate so fair.
I shall see them, I shall know them,
I shall hear their song of love,
And we’ll all sing hallelujah
In our Father’s house above.

- Fanny J. Crosby


Since Yesterday 

Along the golden streets
A stranger walks tonight
With wonder in his heart --
Faith blossomed into sight.

He walks and stops and stares,
And walks and stares again.
Vistas of loveliness
Beyond the dreams of men.

He who once was weak,
And often shackled to a bed,
Now climbs eternal hills
With light and easy tread.

He has escaped at last
The cruel clutch of pain;
His lips shall never taste
Her bitter cup again.

O never call him dead,
This buoyant one and free,
Whose daily portion is
Delight and ecstasy!

Now bows in speechless joy
Before the feet of Him
Whom, seeing not, he loved
While yet his sight was dim.

Along the golden streets
No stranger walks today,
But one who, long homesick,
Is home at last, to stay!

- Martha Snell Nicholson

Also see: The Road that Leads Home

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Evening Song - So Send I You

John 15:18-21  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Just to Let You Know...Internet Problems

I wanted to let you know that we have been having some trouble with our Internet connection. It has been going completely off, or becoming so slow that it is impossible to post things here. This was the cause for my delay in getting last Sunday's post up. It was ready Saturday night, but connection was too lousy to get the whole job done. It posted fine to the Home Maker's Corner in the late afternoon, but by evening when I was setting up the post here it was too slow.

So, if I fail to get a post up at a usual time, it may be that my internet is just too slow or completely off. I did miss one post in October due to health, but for the most part it is a problem of connectivity.

I do have some posts pre-scheduled through the beginning of January, so, Lord willing those at least will go up without interference, although there’s still no guarantee. :-) 

We do have another option that might be somewhat more reliable, but it is a significant increase in price, so we haven’t made the decision to switch yet. We have called our present provider more than once and they "pretend" to make repairs, but we've come to the conclusion that they need to replace a major piece of line and they don't want to do it, so... We live on a country road with low population compared to the larger housing developments being built in our general area, so we are very low priority out here!

Thanks for you patience in this.

P.S. I realized I should add a thought. One thing I need to do is to make sure to do my internet chores when it's actually working. We tend to get used to things being a certain way and grow to depend upon it always being that way. I know people in other countries and situations sometimes don't have power or water all of the time, so they learn to do the chores and stuff that require those things when they do have it. I just need to make sure I do my blogging and web page work when I can. :-)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Thousand Word Project - Fallen Gems

“Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn--that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness--that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.”

- Jane Austen, Persuasion

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Words Mean Things - An "Attitude of Gratitude"?

Here's a new item I wrote earlier this year and thought I'd post in November since it fits the time of year here in the U.S. (and belatedly in Canada, perhaps). This is from the "Words Mean Things" section at The Home Maker's Corner.


An "Attitude of Gratitude"?

Revelation 7:11-12 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.

Every once in awhile a Christian cliché comes along that ends up getting way overused in a general sense. There have been others over the years, particularly Christmas related ones. However, one that I remember from the 1980s was "What would Jesus do?"  It was conveniently shortened to WWJD and then plastered all over all kinds of merchandise that had nothing whatsoever to do with the question or with Jesus Christ. Thankfully, at some point it mostly died down of natural causes - mainly too much exposure.

A recent cliché or platitude that has been overused in some situations is the little phrase "attitude of gratitude." It is worked into different comments, devotionals, sermons and so forth. I suspect the reason for its overuse is that it is "catchy," it is a hook that tends to grab attention. I believe this is primarily because of the way it rhymes, rather than its depth of thought. At any rate, I have grown weary of hearing it.

I think there are several reasons why I find it bothersome:

The first is obvious. It is has been overused. Anything that is used too much can become tiresome. Even some scripture phrases and verses have had this happen, sad to say.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Evening Song - Wonderful Words of Life

Jeremiah 15:16  Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Writing Challenge #10

Psalms 45:1  My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

November is NaNoWrMo - National Novel Writing Month. This is the challenge to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. You can read more about it at the link, but suffice to say that it has grown into a rather large yearly writing event.

Now, I do not plan to participate in that, although I have been toying with writing a novel. I don't think I'd do well trying to meet a specific deadline of 50,000 words in one month on one specific project, and also I don't want to submit my writings to a web site which may or may not keep a copy of my work for their own purposes. (Yes, I'm a suspicious person when it comes to certain areas of human nature. Not without cause, as thousands of years of human history have shown.)

But, as I was thinking about that challenge, it occurred to me that a more possible challenge for November, from my perspective, would be to strive to write every day. I know. Someone may be surprised to learn that I don't do that anyway. I do write a lot, but I tend to write in "spurts." Although I've wanted to make the effort to write at least something daily, I have not done so yet to date. I made some progress this year for sure, but definitely didn't get there and I would like to be a more "ready writer." So...


This month's challenge is write something at least 100 words long every day.


It doesn't have to be a lot or well planned, in fact it can be a very rough draft. It can be in your journal, on you blog, a letter or email to someone, a poem, a love note to your spouse or family member, or a larger project on which you want to make progress. It doesn't have to be a complete post, letter, chapter, etc. as long as it's progress toward a goal. It can be a short outline of something you want to write more completely at a later date. I am possibly being too easy on us, except that I know how hard it is to form a daily habit of writing and I want to address that myself. :-)

We also won't count the first day since I'm posting this so late. :-) It's already November 2nd in a lot of places!

Updates on other challenges and a question:

I did write a new nature themed poem for the September challenge, but I didn't get it done until early October. It was an autumn themed poem, but I am not happy with the results, so it needs more work and won't be published until later.

I don't know if anyone else is participating in any of these challenges, but I have quite enjoyed them so far and so I'm continuing on with it for now. If you are interested and/or participating I would really like to know either in the comments or in email. As we approach the end of the year I would like to know if it is worth while to continue to share these challenges, or if I should do them for my own private enjoyment only. Would you, the reader, rather see something more like the old challenges that I did before? Or would you like to see both types - the writing challenges, and something for a wider audience to do as well? Please let me know your thoughts. :-)

See the other writing challenges here.

Photo in title: unknown source
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