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Monday, December 31, 2018

Hard Questions – Have You Done What You Could?

This was first posted here six years ago. As I was thinking about what to post for the end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 I wondered about something new or reposting something from the past. Among the old posts that I considered for revisiting, this one eventually stood out as a good one for the turning of the year. I needed the reminder as much as anyone!


Dec. 8, 2012

I was going through some of my photos when I came across  a couple pictures that made me think – again.

My husband and I were walking on a riverside walkway in North Carolina with some of his family the day we found these notes. I was touched and blessed to see that some child with a zeal for lost souls had put these notes (at least one had a tract with it also) on benches along the walk. The printing was not perfect, the syntax was not perfect, but the spirit of the thing – how precious it must be in God’s sight! Whoever this young boy or girl was, they were using what skill they had to do what they could for the Lord Jesus.

Do you remember this story from the Bible? Mark 14:3-9  And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.  And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

I sometimes get frustrated about the energy and concern that I see Christians put into things like rescuing dogs and cats, fighting genetically modified foods, “saving” America, supporting “our” troops, and righting numerous great wrongs in the world. It isn’t because there isn’t a point to some of these needs, because there is. For example, we are reminded to “remember the poor” in Galatians 2:10.  And, “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast…,” Proverbs 12:10. But, sometimes all these earthly good deeds are pursued at the expense of the heavenly good deeds – glorifying the Lord Jesus and rescuing precious souls from eternal damnation.

What good does it do to rescue a child from abortion or a girl from a slave brothel and then not give them the Gospel of Jesus Christ? (That one qualifies as a hard question!) What good is it if we give to the poor and take care of hurt animals but don’t spend time worshiping the Lord Jesus Himself? (And, I don’t mean just “going to church.” Too many people think that warming a pew for a couple hours a week qualifies as doing what they “should” for God.)

1 Corinthians 13:3 says,  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. This is another consideration. Charity is an ability all believers can and should cultivate.

I know some of us sometimes we feel like we don’t have a lot to work with. Maybe you are “stuck” at home for days on end. Maybe you struggle with some physical or emotional disability that makes it hard for you to do what others do. Maybe you feel like your skills are small. Maybe you are financially limited for one reason or another. But, what are you doing with what you have that you can use?

Look at this video of these people who live on a landfill - a garbage dump. [I have no control over advertisements or recommended videos shown.]

Most of us are not in this position I’d dare say! Yet, see what amazing musical instruments these people have created from other people’s garbage! Think about how they are turning the off cast rubbish of others into beautiful music which is in itself a form of giving back.

Do you really and truly have nothing to work with for the Lord? I don’t think any of us could honestly say that. I know I fail often to use the tools that I could as efficiently as I could or as wisely as I could. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

Martha Snell Nickolson who was bed ridden and wracked with pain for years wrote this:

How handicapped, how bound are we
When Christ was bound on Calvary?
He could not move a hand nor foot,
And He was wracked with anguish, but
He gave Himself to earnest prayer
For those whose weight of sins He bare.
"Father, forgive, they know not what they do."
O child of God, say not,
"I am too handicapped, too bound,
Too busy, and I have not found
A service I can do for Him."
O Shame! Let us, with eyes grown dim,
Look back to Calvary.
Bound helpless there,
The suffering Saviour gave himself to prayer!
At the very least, we can pray. Or is that “the least”? James 5:16  …The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

It is easy to imagine that our small contribution in the work of the Lord is not much and not worth a lot in the big picture. But, one of the great things about our God is that nothing is too small with Him. Consider the attention He gave to the construction of snowflakes, of DNA, of atoms, and more. We should not think that what we have to offer in His service is too small or useless. He has a purpose and use for every life that He sustains!

When the Lord appeared unto Moses in the burning bush to call Moses to go to the Hebrew people, Moses did not believe that the people would listen to him. 

Exodus 4:1-4  And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand:

Moses’ rod was the tool of his occupation as a shepherd. It was not some special thing nor talent, it was a common everyday thing that he used to work. Yet, under the miraculous touch of the Lord God Almighty, it became something by which he could prove that the Lord had appeared unto him.

Now, I’m not anticipating having any of our common tools turn into snakes. :-) It’s the Jews that require a sign anyway, 1 Cor. 1:22.  But, what are the tools that we have – the common, everyday things that we use in our daily work – that could be used to the glory of God? With His enabling power not just the common things, but even the things humanly considered to be “trash” can be transformed into something for His glory.

One young lady I had the privilege to meet had almost nothing to use but her stunning smile, and yet she used that for the glory of God. (See Violet’s Story.)

Think of that child who used his/her “poor” writing skills, some paper, a pencil, a stick, and a rock for Jesus. Think of those folks who literally used the garbage and cast-off junk of others to make beautiful music. Perhaps it is a bed of anguish as with Martha Nicholson. Perhaps it is “just” a smile as with “Violet”. What are you using for the Lord? What are you overlooking as “too insignificant” to be any good? This is something that we all need to consider. One of the greatest things that ever could be said of us is that we did what we could!

1 Peter 4:10-11  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 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.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Evening Song - It Will be Worth it All

2 Peter 3:11-14 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 

Please know that I apparently no longer have control over the other videos advertised by YouTube. I formerly could shut that off, but apparently they have changed their policy and features.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Be Not Anxious - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint

Be Not Anxious

I cannot change the yesterday when I distrusted Thee,
Though all my fears unfounded proved, and shame me now as then;
I cannot promise that my faith will last throughout the night,
Or that, when Thy tomorrow comes, I will not doubt again.

But grant, O faithful Lord and true, that I may trust Thee now,
Just now, each moment of each hour of this Thy present day;
That, looking backward, I may read the record of the past,
And, forward, see Thy steadfast word light all the future way.

With Memory to guard the rear and Faith to lead the van,
And all Thy tested promises like beacon lights to shine,
How can I dread that demon shape of anxious, faithless fear?
For he shall lose his power when I fully trust in Thine.

Annie Johnson Flint

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 

First published here 1/2012.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Evening Song - Day by Day

2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Sew Happy Friday - Scrappy Jelly Roll String Quilt Tutorial

This quilt is a version of the jelly roll race quilt. It's a great way to use up scraps. If you enjoy making this type of quilt but don't like cutting all the 2" strips at one time, you can cut the strips ahead of time by cutting up your scraps from other projects as you do them. You might store the strips in containers by color. This way you can later select a pleasing mix of colors, or if you have many from on color group you can make a quilt from one color as this lady does in her demonstration.

If you don't want to do all the trimming of angles, you can make this quilt by just sewing the strips end to end. However, if you do that be sure to trim away any selvage edges first. Also, the angle cuts are what give the interesting points in this.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Sexual Abuse in the Church - Warn, Report, Resist

Luke 22:25-26 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

On Sunday, Dec. 9 (2018) the Star-Telegram of Ft. Worth, Texas published a long overdue article on the cover-up of sexual abuse in Independent Fundamental Baptist churches. 

I say overdue because I've heard rumors and undocumented reports of such goings on for years, and things have repeatedly been swept under the rug, ignored, or denied. A few notable cases have been dragged out to the light of day and been prosecuted, such as Bob Gray (of Jacksonville, Florida) and Jack Schaap (son-in-law of Jack Hyles) There have been others as well.

In July this year, Pastor Stacey Shiflett of Calvary Baptist Church in Dundalk, Maryland called out a former pastor of that church after reportedly doing a considerable amount of research and investigation with the leaders of his church into an allegation of sexual abuse against the said former pastor. This former pastor happened to be Cameron Giovanneli who was then president of Golden State Baptist College in Santa Clara, California, a Bible college noted among IFB churches. The college is part of the campus and ministry of one of the few well known IFB mega churches, North Valley Baptist Church which is the kingdom of Pastor Jack Trieber (that wasn't a mistake, it is his kingdom, not Christ's). Sadly, although Giovanneli resigned from his position at Golden State, he was warmly received in a church in Florida and is now working with youth again. The monstrosity of this defies all sound reasoning - Christian or secular. [Also see Brother Shiflett's update statement here.]

The reporters at the Star-Telegram did an extensive research and exposed the massive cover-up and how it is accomplished within various IFB churches. The threats, the shuffling of men from one church to another, the vile abusers' ability to continue on in ministries simply because they belong to "the club," the pastors' fear of having their reputation "ruined" by exposing the guilty to their just punishment - it is all very enlightening, but sadly not surprising.

Continue Reading Here.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Evening Song - God Will Take Care of You

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

FREE Scripture Graphic - ...wash me and I shall be whiter than snow

Here is a vintage graphic that I edited. I got the original graphic from The Graphics Fairy. This one is as it was originally but I went over it carefully and cleaned it up. You can save the image from here, but it will not be very high quality. You can get it in higher quality if you go and download it here. (Use the download button in the lower right corner.)

If you wish to use this online, please do not link to the graphic from either of my locations. Save it to your own computer and then upload it to the place where you store graphics online for you own use. Thank you.

[Note: It's OK to link the graphic from here only if you are sharing the link to this specific post on my blog - either on your own blog or in social media.] :-)


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Not All the Blood

Not All the Blood

Not all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain,
Could give the guilty conscience peace,
Or wash away the stain.

But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
Takes all our sins away:
A sacrifice of nobler name,
And richer blood than they.

My faith would lay its hand
On that dear head of Thine,
While like a penitent I stand,
And there confess my sin.

My soul looks back to see
The burden Thou didst bear,
When hanging on the accursed tree,
And knows its guilt was there.

Isaac Watts

Leviticus 4:33 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering.

Revelation 5:12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Evening Song - Are You Washed In the Blood?

1 John 1:7-9 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

As far as I can tell, I no longer have control over the "suggested videos" being added at the end to try to get you to watch more things on YouTube. I used to be able to turn them off, but apparently this has been discontinued.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Illustrated Poem - Winter Morning by Ogden Nash

Winter Morning

Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snow men,
And houses into birthday cakes,
And spreading sugar over lakes.

Smooth and clean and frosty white,
The world looks good enough to bite.
That's the season to be young
Catching snowflakes on your tongue.

Snow is snowy when it's snowing

I'm sorry it's slushy when it's going.

by Ogden Nash

Top two photos: Michigan in the 1960s. Taken by one of my grandparents.
Bottom two photos: Tennessee in the first ten years of 2000. Taken by me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Four Things List - About Me

Here I am writing on my iPad in our living room. My husband bought it and a keyboard for me to help
make writing more comfortable. It has been a very useful tool in several ways.

Four names people call me other than my real name.

May-may - A nickname given to me by my brother who is 3 years younger than I am and couldn't say my name properly at first. He still sometimes calls me that affectionately.

Mary Ellen - My brother sometimes calls, "Good night, Mary Ellen," when we are parting at night - in reference to the Walton T.V. show which we watched sometimes as children. I usually answer, "Good night, John-boy." :-)

My husband has a nickname for me, but he seemed like he would prefer to keep it our own private treasure, so I've decided not to share it here. :-)

Occasionally someone will call me Elizabeth, which is my middle name but, since it is my mother's first name, I don't think of it in relation to myself and it feels odd. :-)

Four jobs I've had.

Of course, the earliest paying job I had was baby sitting, as was the case for many girls in my generation.

I taught piano lessons to a hand full of students when my family lived in Arizona. I also was a church pianist for quite a few years, although that was strictly volunteer.

I helped my parents with their online business off and on for a number of years.

Being a home maker has always been the main one ever since I was in my teens and started really helping my mom.

Four movies I've watched more than once.

Well, there are a number I can pick from, but here are four:
Dr. Jack (Harold Lloyd and Mildred Davis)
The Wrong Trousers (Wallace and Gromit)
Lions of Etosha (actually a documentary)
Captive Faith (based on Georgi Vins' real life experiences while in prison for his faith under the USSR)

Four books I recommend.

In the Arena by Isobel Kuhn
The Jungle Doctor books by Paul White
Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick
Strawberry Acres by Grace S. Richmond

Four places I have lived.

The Mojave Desert in southern California
Western Michigan

Four places I have visited.

Niagra Falls, Canada.
Amboseli National Park, Kenya.
Amsterdam, Netherlands.
The Glasshouse Mts. in Queensland, Australia.

Four places I would rather be right now.

I'm a home body for the most part. The only other place I'd like to be right now is heaven, but I believe my family and friends would like to keep me around awhile longer! :-)
I would like to be taking a nice hot bath at the time I'm writing this. However, the accommodations of our house in that regard aren't too great. Ho hum.

Four odd things that have happened to me.

I lost my purse in Volendam, Netherlands when I was six years old.
When I was in my later twenties a reader from Canada sent email through The Home Maker's Corner and commended me for being a "wise aged woman." (I never answered it as far as I recall. I didn't know what to say. LOL)
I was with my grandparents at Disneyland when my grandma accidentally threw the ice from her pineapple drink in the ticket receptacle instead of the trash can. (Complicated story. LOL) My grandpa rushed us away before anyone noticed.
I was with my parents when they had to evacuate from Ethiopia because of the Communist coup. I don't actually remember this, but it was a pivotal point in our lives.

Four things I don't eat.

Only four? Most of my food issues are with intolerances and allergies.
Raw carrots
Sweet Peppers
MSG (monosodium glutemate) (Do you know how much food has MSG and closely related ingredients?!)
Corn in any form. (Do you realize how much food has corn in it?!)

Four of my favorite foods.

Ethiopian food (I'll throw that in free of charge.) ;-)

Four of my favorite flowers.


Four of my favorite colors.


Four things I'm always saying.

Good grief.
For crying out loud!
Thank you.
I love you.
(My husband would probably add - "What did you say?" He's a very patient man being married to a writer! LOL)

Four of my favorite things to watch.

Our cats.
People I love having a good time visiting together.
Tree leaves blowing in a gentle wind.

Four animal or bug experiences I have had.

I was with my family in a guest hut at Amboseli National Park when the elephants came to raid the trash cans (or try to) and also when the zebras came to graze in the yard.
In Ethiopia I was in an out house with my mom one night when a leopard coughed outside. (My mom decided we would use a can in the house at night until Daddy came home!)
I remember my parents using a coffee can to trap a spider - not the biggest size can, but still a spider of impressive proportions.
My brother and I owned pet ground squirrels for awhile when our family lived in the Mojave Desert of California.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Evening Song - I Love to Tell the Story

Colossians 4:3-4 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. 


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Fresh from the Garden – Squash and Ham Skillet

I originally published this in August 2010. I thought it would be nice to re-post it. :-)


Recently my dad handed me a couple of yellow summer squashes fresh from our garden. I didn’t have a plan for supper yet that night, but the squash gave me an idea and I came up with this super simple, quick and tasty dish. Serve it with your choice or a carbohydrate – bread, chips, noodles, rice, potatoes, etc. A salad might be nice as well, but we didn’t have one as we usually eat fairly simple meals.

I am sharing this recipe in it’s rough form. It will be an opportunity to “cook by the seat of your pants” or for “adventure cooking,” as we might call it. :-) You can adjust the amounts to suit your tastes and for the number of servings you need for your family.

Yellow summer squash, sliced
Sliced ham, fully cooked
Onion powder 

Pepper to taste
Grated cheddar cheese

Saute yellow squash in butter and a little water in a large frying pan. Sprinkle with ground pepper. Cook till almost done, stirring occasionally. (Add water as needed, but not too much – just enough to keep it juicy.) Meanwhile, chop or tear the ham into bite size pieces. Add ham when squash is almost done and sprinkle with onion powder. When the squash is cooked to your taste and the ham is heated through, remove from heat and top with grated cheese. Cover and allow cheese to melt. Serve.

Note: I do not recommend adding salt while cooking as the ham and cheese make it quite salty. If you want extra salt I suggest adding it at the table. You could also use cooked bacon or some other fully cooked, flavorful meat to make this dish.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Thoughts from the Past - Thoughts On Safety and Trust

Psalms 11:1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?

One of the curious things about safety is that no matter how safe you actually are, if you don’t feel safe you won’t believe you’re safe. My mom remembers years ago a brother in Christ taking her family to a Jewish neighborhood in a large U.S. city. This was probably sometime in the 1950s. As they drove through the area they noticed that the houses were closed, the blinds or curtains were pulled shut. People were not on the streets or in the yards. There were no children playing outside in an era when that was even more common than today. It was quiet and lifeless. The man told them that these people were still afraid because of the terrible experiences many of them had had in Europe during WW II. They were safe in their new country; they could have been enjoying life and their neighborhood -- but they were afraid.

How many of us live our lives like that spiritually or emotionally? We close ourselves away from all others because of some bad experience we had, or because of some danger we imagine may be present, when in reality we are in a place of perfect safety “in Christ.” Some cut themselves off from normal interactions with people or hide away in remote places because of fear. Granted, there are times and places when we may not be “safe” from the harms that come in this life, but I’m speaking of the fear that sometimes dictates our actions where there is no real danger.

I once knew a lady who was afraid to hand out tracts because she thought some terrible thing was going to happen to those who did, that “they” would shortly round us up and do great evil to us if we exposed ourselves like that. Might it happen at some point? Maybe, but that was nearly 20 years ago! Twenty years to be afraid to witness for Jesus because of the “imminent” persecution, which, though it may be nearer, still hasn’t come – not in the form she was expecting. Friends, this is not the way God intends for us to live. Being sober and vigilant of the adversary (1 Peter 5:8) does not mean that we refuse to obey the Lord’s command to go and preach the Gospel because something “bad” might happen. And, it gives a very wrong impression for a Christian.

Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
It comes down to this – no matter how much safety God gives us, if we don’t trust Him, we can’t enjoy it.


You ask how you learn to trust Him?
Dear child, you must just let go!
Let go of your frantic worry,
And the fears which plague you so;
Let go of each black tomorrow
Which you try to live today;
Let go of your fevered planning,
He knoweth all your way.
Fear not lest your slipping fingers
Let go of your Savior too;
Trusting is only knowing
He’ll not let go of you!
Martha Snell Nicholson

Psalms 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Psalms 91:2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

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 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one.

I wonder how much fuller, richer, more productive and more restful our lives would be if we really understood how safe we are in the tender grip of God.
This video does not have the best sound quality, but I like what the young man said at the beginning. Plus, I appreciated hearing this from an Indian – someone who is in a place that North Americans would generally consider much less “safe” than our world for various reasons.

Originally published here Oct. 2015

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Evening Song - Violin/Piano Medley - I Sing the Mighty Power of God/All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name

Ephesians 1:18-21 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving 2018

This year for the U.S. Thanksgiving I thought it would be nice to do something a little different. Here is a selection of songs and hymns to listen to and some scripture to read. (Please remember that I have no control over the ads that might come up during the videos. :-) Thanks.) I hope that all those who serve the Lord Jesus in truth have a blessed day.

Psalm 103:2-5 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. 

2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 

Psalm 52:1 ...the goodness of God endureth continually. 

1 Chronicles 16:35 And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise. 

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. 

Psalm 106:1-2 Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise? 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Our Thanks to God Most High by Isaac Watts

Our thanks to God most high!
   The Father of our Lord,
The Savior-God is He,
   And be His name adored!
O God, Thy mercy shall endure,
Thy Word abide forever sure.

He sent His only Son
   And saved us from our woe—
From Satan, guilt and hell,
   And every hurtful foe.
Thy mercy, Lord, shall still endure,
Thy Word abide forever sure.

Give thanks aloud to God,
   To God your praises bring,
To God upon His throne
   His works and glories sing.
His power and grace are still the same,
Let endless praise exalt His name.

- Isaac Watts
#60 in Hymns for the Little Flock

Psalm 107:1-2 O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; 

Psalm 136:1-4 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Better Than My Best by Annie Johnson Flint

Because giving thanks isn't always easy.

Better Than My Best

I prayed for strength, and then I lost awhile
All sense of nearness, human and divine;
The love I leaned on failed and pierced my heart,
The hands I clung to loosed themselves from mine;
But while I swayed, weak trembling, and alone,
The everlasting arms upheld my own.

I prayed for light; the sun went down in clouds,
The moon was darkened by a misty doubt,
The stars of heaven were dimmed by earthly fears,
And all my little candle flames burned out;
But while I sat in shadow, wrapped in night,
The face of Christ made all the darkness bright.

I prayed for peace, and dreamed of restful ease,
A slumber free from pain, a hushed repose;
Above my head the skies were black with storm,
And fiercer grew the onslaught of my foes;
But while the battle raged, and wild winds blew,
I heard His voice and perfect peace I knew.

I thank you, Lord, You were too wise to heed
My feeble prayers, and answer as I sought,
Since these rich gifts Your bounty has bestowed
Have brought me more than all I asked or thought;
Giver of good, so answer each request
With your own giving, better than my best.

Annie Johnson Flint

Psalm 34:1-6 I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked unto him, and were lightened: and their faces were not ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 

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.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Come Let Us Sing the Matchless Worth

Come let us sing the matchless worth,
And sweetly sound the glories forth
     Which in the Savior shine:
To God and Christ our praises bring:
The song with which high heaven will ring,
     "Praises for grace divine."

How rich the precious blood He spilt,
Our ransom from the dreadful guilt
     Of sin against our God;
How perfect is the righteousness,
In which unspotted, beauteous dress
     His saints have ever stood!

How rich the character He bears,
And all the form of love He wears,
     Exalted on the throne;
In songs of sweet, untiring praise,
We e'er would sing His perfect ways,
     And make His glories known.

And soon the happy day shall come,
When we shall reach our destined home,
     And see Him face to face;
Then with our Savior, Lord and Friend,
The one unbroken day we'll spend
     In singing still His grace.

- Samuel Medley
#196 in Hymns for the Little Flock

Ephesians 1:17-23 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Maker of Earth and Heaven

As a way of remembering some of the many blessings we have to think upon and for which we can give thanks, I thought it would be interesting to post scripture and a poem of praise and thanksgiving daily from today through Wednesday. I hope it is an encouragement and refreshment to you!

Maker of earth and heaven,
   Whose arm upholds creation,
To Thee we raise the voice of praise,
   And bend in adoration.
We praise the power that made us,
   We praise the love that blesses;
While every day that rolls away
   Thy gracious care confesses.

Though trials and affliction
   May cast their shadows o'er us,
Thy love doth throw a heavenly glow
   Of light on all before us;
That love has smiled from heaven,
   To cheer our path of sadness,
And lead the way through earth's dark day,
   To realms of joy and gladness.

The light of love and glory
   Has shone through Christ our Savior,
The Crucified—who lived and died,
   That we might live forever.
And since Thy great compassion
   Thus brings Thy children near Thee,
May we to praise devote our days,
   And keep forever near Thee.

- Henry Ware
#44 in Hymns for the Little Flock

Psalm 95:1-6 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Evening Song - What Grace Is This?

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 

2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Autumn Thoughts - A Poem

This is a poem I wrote last year for one of the writing challenges that I posted.

Autumn Thoughts

Crisp autumn days with crackling leaves that crunch beneath our feet,
A sky like clear blue glass, or rain that rushes in a sheet;
The splendid smells of asters, nuts, and burning leaves --
Who would have thought that death could smell so sweet?

Please Continue Reading here

Painting: The Church at Old Lyme by Childe Hassam.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Evening Song - Nearer My God to Thee

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. [Speaking of Jesus Christ and His work for us on Calvary.]

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

FREE Scripture Graphic - Chrysanthemum, Psalm 145:8

Here is another vintage graphic that I edited. I got the original graphic from The Graphics Fairy, made some changes, and added the verse. You can save the image from here, but it will not be very high quality.  You can get it in higher quality if you go over and download it here. (Use the download button in the lower right.)

If you wish to use this online, please do not link to the graphic from either of my locations. Save it to your own hard drive and then upload it to the place where you store graphics online for you own use. Thank you.

[Note: It's OK to link the graphic from here only if you are sharing the link to this specific post on my blog - either on your own blog or in social media.] :-)


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Pilgrims In the Wilderness

Photo by Mike Van Nattan; Smokey Mts., Tennessee

Pilgrims In the Wilderness 

We're pilgrims in the wilderness;
Our dwelling  is a camp;
Created things, though pleasant,
Now bear to us death's stamp.
But onward we are speeding,
Though often let and tried;
The Holy Ghost is leading
Home to the Lamb, His bride.

Continue Reading. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Evening Song - Here We Are but Straying Pilgrims

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


Thursday, November 1, 2018

The Thousand Word Project - Winter Mustard

Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. 


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Pecan Pie Bars

This dessert is one of my family’s favorites. We have tended to make it for Thanksgiving, but it is good any time. It tastes pretty much like pecan pie, but the pieces are thinner with a higher concentration of nuts than most pies, and the crust tastes better than plain pie crust. Also, this dessert goes a lot farther since it makes such a large pan full.

I recommend using 60% cacao chocolate chips, partly due to the fact that the dessert is so sweet to begin with. Also, for those who are in the habit of reducing sugar in recipes, I have already reduced the sugar and syrup in this recipe and do not recommend trying to reduce it further. If you avoid corn products you may be able to use honey of some other thick syrup type sweetening. I have never tried anything else, but I no longer use GMO corn products myself, so if I make it again I will have to experiment. 


Pecan Pie Bars
3 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. sugar
1 C. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. salt

4 eggs
1 C. light or dark corn syrup
1 C. sugar
3 Tbl. butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. chocolate chips (optional)

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, butter and salt until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press evenly into a greased 15x10x1 inch baking pan. (I recommend lining the pan with parchment as these bars are inclined to stick.) 

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

In another bowl, combine first five filling ingredients. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips. Spread evenly over hot crust. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until set. Do not over bake. 

Cool on wire rack. Cut when cooled. Store leftovers in fridge, but bring to room temperature again before serving.

Yield: 4 dozen

These bars freeze well. I recommend using a box, not a bag. Separate layers with waxed paper to avoid having them sticking together.

(First published here May 2010.)

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Evening Song - I Just Want to Thank You, Lord

Psalm 75:1 Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. 

Ephesians 5:19-20 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, October 26, 2018

Sew Happy Friday - Quilt As You Go Blocks Tutorials

Here is a tutorial from the Gourmet Quilter in New Zealand. She shows us how to use up scraps of fabric, batting, and strips of fabric to make quilt-as-you-go blocks to make a quilt or tote bag or whatever project you want to make. These blocks could also be made over a period of time using up scraps, then making a very scrappy quilt at some future date with all your blocks.

NOTE: Beware of ironing blocks with synthetic batting. I have melted synthetic batting before when ironing a project. It will go "very flat" as she says. I prefer to use 100% cotton batting now because it doesn't have this limitation.

Please remember that I have no control over the advertisements.

In this second tutorial she shows how to sew the blocks together into a quilt or project. If you want to see the instructions for the borders and the rest of this specific project, please check out her YouTube page. I am mainly interested in the basic blocks and joining them. The edges can be bound in any typical quilt binding method you prefer.

One thing you can do to break up the "string" blocks is to make some blocks to mix in that are just a solid square on each side in the same size as your other blocks. Make a sandwich of the three layers and then machine quilt them however you like. She made some with applique stars on them, as you can see in the video.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Thousand Word Project - A Colorful Post

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. 

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Some Thoughts on "Titus 2 Women"

Here is a new article published on The Home Maker's Corner tonight.


Some time back I found this statement on a blog about being Titus 2 women:

"Mature women have so much they can teach younger women; homemaking skills, cooking, keeping a home, decorating, budgeting, how to shop, and the list goes on." [Source withheld for her privacy.]

This sparked some thoughts in me. While the author did talk about passing on spiritual knowledge and wisdom, this sentence caught my attention as she seemed to be emphasizing these earthly things to some degree. Furthermore, I've seen plenty of women who do focus on such things, sometimes to the exclusion of the spiritual.

So, let's consider this a moment. Here is what the three verses in that chapter actually say relating to women:

Titus 2:3-5 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Does it actually say in the passage that the aged women should be teaching homemaking skills, cooking, decorating, etc.?...

Continue Reading.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Evening Song - I Need Thee Every Hour

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

I Love Homemaking...

Here is a fun and thoughtful list of reasons to love homemaking, especially if you can be a full time keeper at home. I first published this on the Home Maker's Corner years ago and I do not know for sure where I got this list or who Laine is, but I hope you enjoy reading it. There are many privileges to being a full time homemaker. I find it somewhat provoking that some women are offended when we value them like we should. Hopefully this will inspire others to see that this is a valuable and useful "career choice." ;-)

I Love Homemaking... - by Laine

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Thoughts from the Past – A Heart Lifted Up

Here is a Bible study that I wrote some years ago before I was married.  I updated it recently.  This applies to many aspects of the Christian life.  It is especially applicable to the present consideration of the “Patriarchy Movement” and the sometimes arrogant or self-exalting attitudes we see in that.

A Heart Lifted Up

2 Chronicles 26:3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and two years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. 4 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah did.

Uzziah was a king of Judah, the son of Amaziah, and the grandson of Joash. Both Amaziah and Joash had followed the Lord up to a certain point, but both had fallen into error later in their reigns. Uzziah had, nevertheless, apparently been raised to be a Jehovah worshipper and followed what his dad had done right.

A sad commentary comes in verse 5 which warns us of the the tragedy to come. 2 Chronicles 26:5 And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.

Continue Reading.

(First posted here Oct. 2015.)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Evening Song - My Anchor Holds

Hebrews 6:18-20 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Sew Happy Friday - Prairie Point Table Runner Tutorial

Here is a fun, easy table runner made from 5" squares (charm squares). This could be a fun way to use up complimenting scraps or to add a pop of color to your home with a favorite charm square collection. (Don't forget that it is easy to cut 10" squares into quarters to make 5" charms.)

This runner finishes quite long at 52 inches, so if that is too large for your table you can shorten it by reducing the number of horizontal squares from 11 to whatever you need it to be. You could also use 4" squares instead in this case because the instructions wouldn't change, just the measurements. You may have to arrange the prairie points a little differently, though, to get them even.

When closing the opening left for turning the runner, Donna just stitched it shut on her sewing machine leaving a visible thread line. This can be made to look more a part of the overall design if you top stitch around the entire runner making sure that the opening on the bottom is closed as you do so. I think this will also provide extra security for the prairie points.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Full Assurance of Hope by Charles Wesley

The Full Assurance of Hope

How happy every child of grace,
Who knows his sins forgiven!
This earth, he cries, is not my place;
I seek my place in heaven:
A country far from mortal sight,
Yet, O, by faith I see;
The land of rest, the saints' delight, -
The heaven prepared for me.

O what a blessed hope is ours!
While here on earth we stay,
We more than taste the heavenly powers,
And foresee that day:
We feel the resurrection near,
Our life in Christ concealed,
And with His glorious presence here
Our earthen vessels filled.

O would He more of heaven bestow!
And when the vessels break,
Let our triumphant spirits go
To grasp the God we seek;
In rapturous awe on Him to gaze,
Who bought the sight for me;
And shout and wonder at His grace
To all eternity.

Charles Wesley

Titus 2:12-14 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Friday, October 5, 2018

New Facebook Page

Well, I have an announcement to make. I have finally started a Facebook page for The Home Maker's Corner and Cotton Apron. If you are interested in liking and/or following me there, please go here and click the appropriate buttons. :-) I will be so happy to have you join us.

I will be posting links there to the posts here on the blog and to new articles at The Home Maker's Corner. I'll also post things on the Facebook page that I don't post here or that only get limited posting here - music, verses, links to articles of interest on other sites, useful videos, art and crafts stuff, etc. I have plenty of some types of material for sharing with my readers, but there's only limited time and space to post everything on the blog or web page. Using Facebook will hopefully help me get some of the information, helps, and encouragement out there where it can be used.

Please come and join us if your are interested. :-)

Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Some Autumn Thoughts

Sorrow and scarlet leaf,
Sad thoughts and sunny weather.
Ah me, this glory and this grief
Agree not well together!
-   Thomas Parsons, 1880, A Song For September

I was not able to determined if this is the entire poem or an excerpt.

Autumn is always a time of both relief and sorrow, of cooling days but shorter days. There is a jubilation in the vivid colors and lovely weather, but a sadness that comes with the death of anything we hold in value and the approach of increasing darkness. I think God made autumn beautiful to remind us that even death and endings can come with glory and beauty.

Psalm 30:11-12 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.