Sunday, December 31, 2017
The John Marshall Family
The Double Clasp
The Saviour's hand - how close its hold,
That none can loosen, none can break.
No powers of heaven or earth or hell
That loving clasp can ever shake.
And over Jesus' wounded hand
The Father's hand of strength is laid,
Omnipotent to save and keep;
Thus is our surety surer made.
So, one beneath and one above,
Father and Son their hands unite.
How safe, how safe the ransomed are
Within that clasp of tender might!
Annie Johnson Flint
John 10:28-30 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.
Saturday, December 30, 2017
Friday, December 29, 2017
Image property of sew4hom.com
These coaster would be a fun way to add some color to a room, or they would make great gifts. One might even fit into a card to be mailed. (Check to see if it needs extra postage.)
They also look pretty easy to make. If you have scraps of felt and some stray quilting patches, these would come together quite quickly. This is also a good way to practice top-stitching if it's something you struggle with. These coasters are not a big project and can be used for awhile and then discarded. This is much better place to learn a new skill than on a garment or a big project. :-) The tutorial is at sew4home.com
Link: Felt and Fabric Coasters
Thursday, December 28, 2017
Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
White tail deer
Sunday, December 24, 2017
(graphic crated at AZQuotes.com)
My husband and I have had influenza this past week, so my post today will be somewhat brief.
Fade, Fade, Each Earthly Joy
Fade, fade, each earthly joy;
Jesus is mine.
Break ev'ry tender tie;
Jesus is mine.
Dark is the wilderness,
Earth has no resting place,
Jesus alone can bless;
Jesus is mine.
Tempt not my soul away;
Jesus is mine.
Here would I ever stay;
Jesus is mine.
Perishing things of clay,
Born but for one brief day,
Pass from my heart away;
Jesus is mine.
Farewell, ye dreams of night;
Jesus is mine.
Lost in this dawning bright,
Jesus is mine.
All that my soul has tried
Left but a dismal void;
Jesus has satisfied;
Jesus is mine.
Jesus is mine.
Jesus is mine.
Welcome, O loved and blest,
Welcome, sweet scenes of rest,
Welcome, my Savior’s breast;
Jesus is mine.
-- Mrs. Catherine J. Bonar
I am reminded of my own Gramma, who did celebrate Christmas, but she got to where she did very little in her own house because she realized how much extra trouble it was and that what was done would need undoing later, and she didn't want to commit that much time and effort to it. She didn't need things to prove she loved the Lord, or that He was her joy.
Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
What level of vanity have you spent on "the season"? How much time, money, and effort have you spent on things that have little or nothing to do with the actual birth of Jesus Christ and things of eternal value?
May I ask you a personal question? Could you enjoy celebrating Jesus' birth without all the trimmings and decorations, without all the traditions and rituals?
Earthly joys are all going to fade away and not be remembered someday anyway. Only those things of true eternal value will last, and we don't need earthly things to prove our relationship to Jesus.
What will be of lasting value?
Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
3 John 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
1 Peter 3:3-4 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
We can choose to live with less of earthly joys and more of eternal joys now - today - by what we choose to spend our time and efforts upon, but it will take conscious effort and sacrifice. How will you minister Christ in this world today, tomorrow, any day?
Only Jesus can satisfy your soul.
Here is a lovely presentation of this hymn by my friend, Stephanie, at The Enchanting Rose.
Saturday, December 23, 2017
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Ephesians 2:4-9 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Friday, December 22, 2017
Here is another remake of a vintage graphic that I did. I'm not sure where I got the original, but I did some work on it before I added the verse, and I'm including both versions for you. You can save the images from here, or you can go over and download the one with the verse or the one without. (Use the download button in the lower right corner.) I am not sure if they will be a good size for printing if you save them from here since these are of a restricted size, from what I can tell.
Please do not link to these graphics from here if you are using them online, but save them to your own computer and then upload them to the place where you store graphics online for you own use. Thank you. [Note: It's ok to link from here only if you are sharing the link to this specific post on my blog on your blog or in social media. :-) ]
Thursday, December 21, 2017
Sunday, December 17, 2017
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
The Judgment Seat of Christ
Swiftly and surely comes the day
When I shall keep a tryst.
The focal point of all my life --
The judgment seat of Christ.
Shall I approach that throne with dread,
With fear and stark dismay?
What will confront me, what be read
About me on that day?
I shall not stand a prisoner
Who waits with bated breath
To bear the sentence of the Judge,
If it be life or death --
All this was settled long ago.
But rather I shall stand
A servant, waiting judgment on
The work of heart and hand;
Those works in which my soul took pride
May there be judged as hay
And burned as chaff and stubble on
That all-revealing day.
Oh may there be some little deed,
Some word for Him I said;
Some work the SPIRIT energized,
Some earnest prayer I prayed;
Something entirely free from self,
Or hope of gain, or pride.
Works done for love of Him alone --
These only shall abide.
How would I feel if I should have
No crown of gold to give,
To lay before the feet of Him
Who died that I might live?
May I live my remaining days
Remembering that tryst
Which I must keep with Him before
The judgment seat of Christ!
- by Martha Snell Nicholson
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Friday, December 15, 2017
God, Give Us Men!
God, give us men! A time like this demands
Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands;
Men who the lust of office does not kill;
Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy;
Men who possess opinions and a will;
Men who have honor; men who will not lie;
Men who can stand before a demagogue
And damn his treacherous flatteries without winking!
Tall men, sun-crowned, who live above the fog
In public duty and in private thinking;
For while the rabble, with their thumb-worn creeds,
Their large professions and their little deeds,
Mingle in selfish strife, lo! Freedom weeps,
Wrong rules the land and waiting Justice sleeps.
- by Josiah Gilbert Holland
from The Best Loved Poems of the American People
compiled by Hazel Felleman
Thursday, December 14, 2017
These photos were taken by my grandparents in the '60s and '70s. I have memories of roads like these! While they are very beautiful to look at, it is not always great to travel on roads in these conditions. :-) All of these photos were taken around Gull Lake, Michigan.
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- by Robert Frost
Sunday, December 10, 2017
My Neighbor's Roses
The roses red upon my neighbor’s vine
Are owned by him, but they are also mine.
His was the cost, and his the labor, too,
But mine as well as his the joy, their loveliness to view.
They bloom for me and are for me as fair
As for the man who gives them all his care.
Thus I am rich, because a good man grew
A rose-clad vine for all his neighbor’s view.
I know from this that others plant for me,
And what they own, my joy may also be.
So why be selfish, when so much that’s fine
Is grown for you, upon your neighbor’s vine?
by Abraham L. Gruber
When my family lived in Arizona we had a fenced yard enclosed by a chain link fence. In quite a bit of the fence there were wooden slats woven through the openings to give more privacy inside the yard. I loved growing flowers and shrubs at that time and I planted a lot of things in our yard. Among many other things, I planted hollyhocks and climbing roses along the fence.
Painting: "The Crimson Rambler" by Philip Hale
Saturday, December 9, 2017
Friday, December 8, 2017
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Isaiah 40:6-8 The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
"Mrs. Duffee Seated On A Striped Sofa Reading" by Mary Casset
This month the writing challenge will be easy. I've seen quotes to the effect that if you wish to write well, you need to read good books. So...
The challenge is to read a good book this month. If you're up for it, read several. :-)
You can read something that is written well and is in a style of writing that you would like to influence your own writing, whether it's for adults, children, teens, or a specific group. Sometimes the blogging world can get a little too free and easy with writing styles - by this I mean the decay of English. Reading books that lift our minds and thoughts and that will have an improving effect on our writing is a good investment of time.
Or, if you need a rest for your mind and something pleasant for a distraction this month, read something that is light recreation reading for you. These are things that RE-create - things that refresh your mind or your spirit or both, and that don't make you feel pressured to perform or achieve.
Ecclesiastes 12:12 And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Image created at AZQuotes.com
Sunday, December 3, 2017
[Originally published, 7/2012; Edited, Dec. 2017.]
Proverbs 24:10 If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
Deuteronomy 33:27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms…
Last Sunday evening a thunder shower started during the church meeting and kept on for a long time. It was still going when we were leaving the building to head home. My friend Michelle and her littlest girl, Lucy, were going out the door at the same time I was. Another lady – a guest – was trying to help some with Lucy as she was starting to cry. Lucy started howling even more, and, assuming that it was partly because this lady was a stranger to her, I stepped in and picked Lucy up to carry her out. Well, she continued to cry and then began to writhe as toddlers will sometimes when they want to be put down. So, I put her down. To my consternation, she almost promptly fell over onto the cement. She was acting like she couldn’t function. I tried to lift her onto her feet, but she wouldn’t use her legs, she just kept them bent.
All this time her mom, whose arms were full was saying encouraging things, but Lucy paid no attention to her. Eventually, when I was trying to hold her up and she was refusing to stand, her dad saw what was happening came out to assist, saying he would get her. I didn’t dare let go of her till he had her in his hands because she would have fallen backwards and hit her head on the cement.
She continued to cry as her dad paused to talk a minute, explaining to me that she was scared of the thunder. Still, she would put her head down on her dad’s shoulder and let him comfort her a bit, but when the thunder crashed again (and it wasn’t really loud thunder), she would howl and writhe and maybe even throw herself around a bit as if she wanted to be put down. She was perfectly safe in his arms. He wasn’t going to put her down – that would have only meant another fall for her as her fear was so overwhelming that she apparently forgot how to walk when it happened. But, she wouldn’t be comforted, she wouldn’t be assured, she would not rest in the safety of her father’s arms and be at peace. As the lady who had tried to help earlier said, Lucy probably was frightened because she did not understand the storm.
Speaking to my husband later about this little by-play, it crossed my mind how we are like that at times with our heavenly Father. Something happens that we don’t understand, or perhaps we are made frightened by events going on around us in the world or are fearful about the future; but rather than standing on our own two legs of faith, as it were, we begin to thrash around and stumble and become so overcome with our fear that we even fall and may injure ourselves, figuratively speaking. Fear can have very real physical effects. It can be debilitating.
Perhaps our brothers or sisters in Christ see it is necessary to come along side of us and try to help to keep us on our feet, though that is a blessing, there is only so much they can do, especially when we refuse to be helped.
Ultimately, we need to rest in the everlasting arms of our heavenly Father. Yet, how often do we thrash and howl and writhe even while the Lord is trying to bring peace and comfort to our troubled minds and hearts! How apt we are to resist the very One who is …the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 2 Corinthians 1:3! We are so overwhelmed by our own terror that we can’t realize that we are safe in the arms of God, and even more we fail to hear His word and believe it. We can’t even comprehend it because we are allowing ourselves to be governed by the spirit of fear.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Fear is a natural response in some situations, and it is a useful reaction to keep us from injuring ourselves, attempting foolish things, going into dangerous situations and such like. When people say that “fear is sin” in a blanket statement they are misrepresenting the thing, which is unhelpful. But, fear is also something that can be totally unfounded, irrational, or exaggerated far beyond what a situation may call for. This is why our adversary uses it to his advantage.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
The roaring of the lion causes fear and panic in those who are candidates to be his victims. But, as Christians we are told to be sober and vigilant – not so panic stricken that we can’t function properly. I know this can be very hard. As a person who deals with anxiety struggles, I know that it can be very easy to allow ourselves to be overwhelmed to the point of uncontrollable fear.
I find it interesting to note the verses just before and just after 1 Peter 5:8. First regarding the Lord, it tells us: 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. And, then regarding the roaring adversary it continues in 1 Peter 5:9, Whom resist stedfast in the faith…
Getting back to little Lucy, though, and her refusal to accept her father’s comfort and care, another verse comes to mind. Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
The key there is in the letting. God gives us a choice in this matter. Lucy’s father could not make her be comforted or at peace. She had to choose that. As a toddler, this was something hard for her to do. We understand that, and I’m sure our heavenly Father understands our struggle as well since …he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. Psalms 103:14 That is a blessing. But, I know Lucy’s dad would have liked to see her accept her safety in his arms and be at rest. How much more do you think our heavenly Father would be blessed to see us rest in His infinite, all powerful, sustaining arms? How much more does He know that it is for our good to accept His admonition to let His peace rule in our hearts?
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Vintage graphic: source unknown
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.