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Saturday, March 6, 2021

Evening Song - Jesus Led Me All the Way


Psalm 23:1-6 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. 

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 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. 


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Friday, March 5, 2021

A Short Thought On Grieving and God's Comfort

 

Here is something I shared on my Facebook page and thought I'd post it here as well.

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Today marks one year since my dear mom went to be with the Lord. It feels like it shouldn't be that long yet, but in other ways it feels longer. She had started to leave by bits and pieces long before that because of the dementia that was stealing her away from us.

Grief is a strange, unpleasant thing that we struggle to deal with. Sometimes people say it is a normal part of life. I don't believe it is, and I think that is what makes it so hard for us to deal with it. God didn't intend for us to die and to deal with death. Mankind was not originally created to die. Did you ever think about that? It is not a natural part of life for us. It is unavoidable and predictable, but it hurts so much because it is part of the curse of sin, not one of the things we were created to deal with.

Adam and Eve sinned in eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but also failed to eat of the tree of life. I have wondered about that sometimes. Then God shut them out of the Garden of Eden so that they wouldn't eat of it and live forever in their sinful state (Gen. 3:22). He had a plan to give us eternal life, but the price had to be paid to make that possible.

1 Corinthians 15:26 says, "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death." People sometimes talk like it's a blessing or something to look forward to even. I understand why Christians say that because of the hope of heaven and rest, but I don't believe it is entirely biblical. Death is an enemy. The process of giving us the victory over it and the hope of the resurrection was complicated and extremely costly to Jesus Christ. And, that enemy is not destroyed yet. We still face it over and over, both in our own experience and just by living in this death filled world.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

Here is something to think about - We cannot learn to give others God's comfort unless we have been in need of it ourselves. So feeling the grief and letting God comfort us in it is part of His will for us now, because He intends for us to pass it on to other hurting people.

Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Looking for The Lord Himself

 Worth repeating.

A friend of mine expressed her concern recently about how focused many Christians are on the approaching time of great tribulation (also called Jacob’s Trouble, Jer. 30:7). I know what she means. It is disconcerting to hear believers being preoccupied with all the terror and trouble while totally losing focus of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. 

It’s also unsettling to hear Americans talk as if the fall of America must signify the beginning of the tribulation and end times. There is no guarantee that this will be so.  America may fall years before the tribulation starts. Or it may fall after our gathering unto Christ has already occurred. We don’t know.

But, having said that, there is one thing I firmly believe and that is that we should be looking for Jesus Christ – not the fall of the U.S., not the tribulation, not the man of sin (2 Thess. 2:3), not the end of the American dream, not a great economic crash, not….well, you get the idea. While I think it is good to look forward to the many promised blessings that Christ will bring with Him and cause to happen, at the same time I agree with the following poem that we should be looking for the Lord Himself. It has been said that the gift without the giver is bare, and in this case it is surely true. Without the person of Jesus Christ Himself our hope of the future would be bare.  It is He Himself that is the embodiment of all good – past, present and future! Let us keep our eyes on Him!

The Lord Himself

It is not for a sign we are watching...
For wonders above and below,
The pouring of vials of judgment,
The sounding of trumpets of woe;

It is not for a Day we are looking,
Not even the time yet to be
When the earth shall be filled with God's glory
As the waters cover the sea;

It is not for a King we are longing
To make the world-kingdoms His own;
It is not for a Judge who shall summon
The nations of earth to His throne.

Not for these, though we know they are coming;
For they are but adjuncts of Him,
Before whom all glory is clouded,
Besides whom all splendor grows dim.

We wait for the Lord, our Beloved,
Our Comforter, Master and Friend,
The substance of all that we hope for,
Beginning of faith and its end;

We watch for our Saviour and Bridegroom,
Who loved us and made us His own;
For Him we are looking and longing;
For Jesus, and Jesus alone.

- Annie Johnson Flint

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

1 Thessalonians 1:9-10  For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1 John 3:2-3  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 

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First published here Dec. 2012; edited.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Evening Song - Jesus Paid It All (Schaffer and Beazley version)

Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 

Mark 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. 

1 Timothy 2:5-6 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 




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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Sunday, February 21, 2021

In A Small Place - A Poem by Annie Johnson Flint



Zechariah 4:10 For who hath despised the day of small things?...


In a Small Place

Fret not because thy place is small,
Thy service need not be,
For thou canst make it all there is
Of joy and ministry.

The dewdrop, as the boundless sea,
In God's great place has part;
And this is all He asks of thee;
Be faithful where thou art.

In thee His mighty hand can show
The wonders of His grace,
And He can make the humblest room
A high and holy place.

Thy life can know the blessedness
Of resting in His will;
His fullness flows unceasingly
Thy cup of need to fill.

His strength upon thy weakness waits,
His power for thy task.
What more, O child of all His care,
Could any great one ask?

by Annie Johnson Flint

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.

Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Evening Song - Come, Thou Fount (Warrenton)

Psalm 36:9 For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. 

Zechariah 13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. 

Jeremiah 17:13-14 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters. Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise. 

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 

Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. 

Revelation 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 

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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Worth Repeating - Breakfast Bars

A recipe "Worth Repeating." This was originally published here in Oct. 2010. I would make them now with the GF flour since I learned I have a gluten intolerance. I would like to try making them again with add-ins that I can eat now. It would look a little different, but I'm sure they would still be good. :-)



I got this recipe for breakfast bars from my friend, Beth. I thought they were so delicious I could hardly stop eating them!
 
She made them with the Gluten Free flour as the recipe calls for. I didn’t have any, so I made them with whole wheat, oats and oat flour. I also used a different mixture of nuts and dried fruit. I have included her (slightly altered) recipe and my version as well. Make them to your own taste and family needs. The choice is up to you. :-)
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Gluten Free Breakfast Bars

1 ¼ cup GF flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey (or agave nectar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup peanuts
¼ cup raisins


In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.

In a large bowl, combine oil, agave and vanilla. Stir dry ingredients into wet. Mix in nuts and raisins. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with oil. Press the dough into the baking dish, wetting your hands with oil to help pat the dough down evenly if necessary.

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes (or till golden brown). Cool and Serve. Note: They are also good warm (with milk over them if desired), but will be crumbly when served this way.

My version (use same instructions as above):
1/2 C. whole wheat flour
1/2 C. oat flour
1/4 C. old fashioned oats
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 C. oil (grape seed)
1/4 C. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 C. sliced almonds
1/2 C. peanuts (salted)
1/4 C. raisins
1/3 C. dried cranberries

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It will look something like this in the pan before you bake it.


These turned out really well, though I got mine just a bit too dark. I loved the nutty looking texture with the bits of red cranberry peaking out.


I ate some of it with milk on it like cereal. It was very good this way too! :-)




Sunday, February 14, 2021

From Mom’s Collection: Thoughts On Being Kind

Another item "Worth Repeating" from my Mom's Collection. This one was first published here in May of 2015. I was working on a series on the Attributes of God that year and it is mentioned in this post. 

Ephesians 4:31-32  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

It is really easy in this life to get preoccupied with the troubles and trials, the hurts, the ugliness, the disappointments that we experience from other people. It is easy to resent other people’s faults and accuse them, especially when those faults affect us. I think we all feel it at times if we are honest.

This little poem from my mom’s collection struck me when I read it.

Why Not Be Kind?

So brief a time we have to stay
Along this dear familiar way;
It seems to me we should be kind
To those whose lives touch yours and mine.

The hands that serve us every day
Should we not help them while we may?
They are so kind that none can guess
How soon they’ll cease our lives to bless.

So many faults in life there are
We need not go to seek them far;
But time is short and you and I,
Might let the little faults go by.

-- Author Unknown

This reminds me of Proverbs 19:11, The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

Yes, there are surely things in this life that need to be dealt with. There are offences that need to be addressed. But, in all honesty, there are so many things we think we need to straighten out that either don’t need to be touched by us at all, or that need to be approached with more kindness than accusation or judgment. Some may error on the side of letting things pass that should be taken care of, but I suspect that many of us tend toward dissecting other people’s faults that we could let go by.

From my own experience, I know there have been times when I wanted very much to say something to someone about a specific problem – as I saw it. For one reason or another – perhaps a caution from my husband or family member, lack of opportunity, or just deciding to wait – I have sometimes not done so when I thought I “should”, only to find out later that either that person was not ready at that time, was hurting or overwhelmed by life, or that the Lord took care of it without my meddling! Oh, how humbling to realize that my concerns and intentions to “correct” were totally unneeded by my Lord or were thwarted by His sovereign will.

We’re told that it is glory to pass over a transgression. 

I know.  Someone may be thinking that some things shouldn’t be passed over. This is true. But we need to examine scripture to be sure that what we think worth addressing is something God would want us to deal with.  Sometimes, even things that seem very important to us really are not in the economy of God.

But, it is to our glory to pass over some things, to let them go without comment, to cover them in love. 

Proverbs 10:12  Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

Proverbs 17:9  He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.

How quick we are sometimes to speak and expose! This is something I need to work on myself.

Think how many things Jesus must have passed over while He was living with his disciples those three years of His ministry.  Surely He did not spend all His time with them picking apart everything they said, or they would more than likely have given up and left Him along with all the others who did. He did correct them at times, but there is a great deal we can learn from His kindness, both to those He lived among and to ourselves. We don’t get the correction that we justly deserve. Why can’t we pass some of that kindness forward in the name of Jesus Christ?

Psalms 130:3-4  If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.

This, of course, brings us back to our attribute of God for this month – Forgiveness.  And, after all, aren’t kindness and forgiveness unbreakably connected?

Colossians 3:12-13  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Evening Song - The Way that He Loves


Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Ephesians 6:23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Jude 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life


acapeldridge.com

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Pretty Edible - Cauliflower with Cheese

 


This is so easy to make. Simply cook your cauliflower whole. Make sure it will sit flat by checking it on the counter/bench. Trim the stem if necessary. Place in a pan big enough to hold it without crowding it in tightly. Add enough water to come up about half way. Add salt to taste.

After it is cooked, carefully remove it to a bowl where it will look pretty and immediately sprinkle generously with grated cheese. You may also sprinkle it with paprika or black pepper if desired. Serve hot. 

This is obviously a great side dish for a meal, but it could also be a meal for a few by itself with maybe some crackers or chips to accompany it.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

L. M. Montgomery - Delightful or Dangerous?



Over the last few years I have done fresh research and rewritten this article. It does not make me happy to have to address this as I have enjoyed L. M. Montgomery's Anne books very much in the past. But, what we like or love should always be subject to the word of God and truth, so no one and nothing is above examination.

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Lucy Maud Montgomery is perhaps best known for her classic Anne of Green Gables series. While these stories have generally been accepted as sweet and decent reading for children (girls in particular) there are some serious questions that arise about this author's life and the things that she presents in her stories.

Many people who were not familiar with the books before, were exposed to the Anne of Green Gables story as it gained renewed popularity in the U.S.A. and Canada through the mini-series on T.V. in the 1980s. More recently Anne with An E on Netflix has gotten its share of attention, partly because of its heavy-handed high-jacking of an old classic to turn it into a propaganda vehicle for political correctness, especially the LGBT agenda. (This was a wide departure from Montgomery's own writings and should not be held against her personally.) The books themselves have also been embraced by the homeschool community in general which generated a lot of interest. Also, in the 1990s Road to Avonlea, a program which aired on the Disney Channel, was loosely based on a number of Montgomery's novels, including Chronicles of Avonlea and The Story Girl books; and Emily of New Moon was aired in Canada and based on her books by the same name.

Having been given my grandmother's set of the Anne books as a girl, I grew up with them and they were among my favorite childhood stories. However, as I grew older and came upon some further knowledge of the author, I realized that there were problems. It does not make me happy to have to address this, but all things must be examined by the scripture, even our favorite sources of "entertainment."

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

It was in the late 1980s that my mom and I began to collect some of the other books by L. M. Montgomery. These were books that my grandma and my mom had never read. Some of the things in them bothered me as I knew that they were very contrary to scripture. Because of this I eventually began to examine and reconsider the Anne books as well, and the Lord brought some disturbing things to my attention.

Continue Reading.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Evening Song - When We See Christ


1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. 


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Thursday, February 4, 2021

Tennessee Memories - Too Cold?


As a rule, man is a fool.
When it's hot, he wants it cool.
When it's cool, he wants it hot.
Never wanting what he's got.
Always wanting what is not.

- Anonymous




Monday, February 1, 2021

Letter Writing Challenge for February

 


A fellow named Eric has started a February challenge based on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month in November). His idea is to write one letter or note to someone every day in February. It is called InCoWriMo - International Correspondence Writing Month

Laura at Harvest Lane Cottage extended the challenge to her readers here: Snail Mail Excitement - Let's Spread Some Joy.

Yes, you read that correctly. The challenge is to write snail mail - a good old fashioned letter on paper...or a notecard or postcard or a greeting card. You get the idea. You can mail them or deliver them by hand. I'm guessing a note sent by carrier pigeon would be acceptable too, even though I don't expect any of us would actually do that. Just covering all the bases here. ;-) 

The point is not to use electronic devices. He stipulates no typewriters, but if someone wanted to write to me on an old fashioned manual typewriter I would find that delightful. :-) I sometimes wish I still had mine...except when I think about how heavy it was. But, I digress.

My love for writing actually was birthed in letter writing, thanks to the example of my mom, so this seemed like an appropriate challenge to share with my readers. If you are interested, give it a go. If 28 letters or notes in one month seems overly ambition to you, make adjustments. You can write short notes. You can do 14 instead. You can write several a day and not write on every single day. I have a lot of letters and notes that I have been meaning to write for awhile, so maybe this will inspire me to actually get some of those done. :-)

I am sure there are a lot of people out there who would be extra delighted to receive a snail mail right now.

If you would like a copy of the graphic above to make your own notecards or postcards, you can find it here

Sunday, January 31, 2021

Letters to My Friend - Jesus Is Mine Forever

 



Do you ever wake up in the night all upset or panicked about something and struggle to give it to the Lord? Maybe, like me, you also wake in the morning and realize that your mind was completely irrational in those wee small hours. Maybe you even feel a bit foolish too. Sometimes I feel a lot foolish.

The year 2020 was rough on a lot of us. Covid itself, and then the resulting upheaval to life in so many ways was bad enough, but added to that in the U.S. we had a volatile election year. Many people saw family relationship and friendships break down in ways that were sad and disheartening. For my family we also had my dad having a mini stroke, the death of two pets, my mom's dementia crisis and then the end of her life, and numerous deaths connected to family and friends (many not directly related to Covid). Plus I've been traveling that roller coaster ride known as "entering menopause." To say that life was feeling a little fragile for me sometimes would be an understatement.

So, it isn't surprising that one night not long ago I was stressing in the night...

Continue Reading.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Evening Song - Jesus, Wonderful Lord


Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 



Thursday, January 28, 2021

Tennessee Memories - Birds by the Woodpile

I think I took all of these photos from my bedroom window when my family lived in East Tennessee. :-) We had a bird feeder back there to encourage them to come.

Dove

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Doves and Sparrow

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

FREE Vintage Graphic - Psalm 139:14 -- for crafting or decor



Hello crafting friends! Here is another vintage graphic for you. The original graphic came from somewhere online. I made some changes and added the verse. You can save the image from here, but I don't think it will not be high quality for printing. You can get it in higher quality if you go over and download it here. (Use the download button on the left.)

I am trying to pick out verses that are more appropriate for greeting cards now since I realized that some I've done in the past were not all that great for that purposes. :-) 

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.] :-)

Enjoy!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

I Once Was Alive without the Law

 



Romans 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

I Once Was Alive without the Law

How awful the state I was in,
When Satan's proud vassal I stood,
Bound fast in the fetters of sin,
Rejecting salvation by blood:

On self my dependence was laid,
I thought myself holy and free,
Till Sinai its terrors displayed,
And drove me, dear Jesus, to Thee.

Thus stripped by the precept at last,
A debtor insolvent I am;
My sins, both the present and past,
Were paid in the blood of the Lamb;

From hence this conclusion I draw,
With gospel assurance, that he
Whose heart was ne're broke by the law,
No sweets in the gospel can see.

John Kent

Galatians 3:23-26 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Evening Song - There Is A Fountain


Psalm 36:9 For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. 

Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 

1 John 1:7 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. 


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There is a fountain filled with blood,
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains:
Lose all their guilty stains,
Lose all their guilty stains;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there have I, though vile as he,
Washed all my sins away:
Washed all my sins away,
Washed all my sins away;
And there have I, though vile as he,
Washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its pow’r,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Are safe, to sin no more:
Are safe, to sin no more,
Are safe, to sin no more;
Till all the ransomed church of God
Are safe, to sin no more.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die:
And shall be till I die,
And shall be till I die;
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die.

When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue
Lies silent in the grave,
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save:
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save;
Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save.

- William Cowper

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Tennessee Memories - Frosty Winter Morning

Job 37:10 By the breath of God frost is given...

God breathed on the grass last night
And froze it stiff and white;
Then He sent the melting sun
To make it green and bright.

MES






Photos taken near Kingston, Tenn.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Cheap, Pretty, and Good - Gift Wrapping Ideas

 


Although gift bags are all the fashion these days and are great for reusing, some of us still like wrapped gifts upon occasion. :-) But wrapping paper can be expensive. Here are some ideas for making do or using less expensive methods.

Here are some ideas from "Sister in the Mid-West" at Simple Inspirations:

Cheap and Creative Gift Wrapping Paper

Among a number of good ideas, she shows an example of writing on paper to decorate it for gift warp. The image above is an example of this that I made some years back. I used my colored Sharpie markers to write "I love you!" in different colors on plain white tissue paper. This was for my husband for our anniversary one year. :-) As she points out in her blog post, you can save paper from packages and reuse paper grocery bags for this as well.

You could also make the wrapping part of the gift. 

Here are some suggestions:

Wrap a gift for a sewist or crafter in fabric for her to keep.

Wrap bridal shower gifts or a gift for a home maker in kitchen or tea towels.

Wrap a baby shower gift in a light weight fleece blanket.

Wrap a summer birthday gift in a beach towel.

Wrap a house warming gift in a fleece throw or table cloth.

Wrap a set of bed sheets in one of the pillow cases or an extra pillow case.

Wrap various home gifts in a pillow case.

Wrap a kid's birthday gift in a specialty pillow case.

Wrap books in a lap throw (for cozy reading). :-)

These gifts can be held closed with safety pins, ribbon, or low-tack tape that won't ruin the fabrics.

Repurpose jeans or other trousers to make gift bags too.


I have made gift bags using old jeans. I used ones that had the hem still intact, but you could use trimmed ratty ones as well. If the jeans are worn too much around the bottom edge try cutting off the hem and washing them to give a frayed edge to work with. Do this before cutting off the legs for the bags. The hem end will be the top edge of the bag.

To make the bags I just cut the bottoms of the legs off below the knee at whatever length I wanted. I turned the pant legs wrong side out and then sewed them shut along the cut edge. Be sure to use a stout needle size for this. Also, it may be difficult to get the machine to sew through the thickest side seam on the jeans. To avoid breaking a needle I used the wheel on the side and gently worked it by hand so that the needle went through slowly and firmly. You could also sew these up by hand if you don't have a sewing machine. Add decorations as you like. In the one in the photo I added a ribbon on one side to tie the bag shut and some "yo-yos" just to pretty it up a bit. You could also paint them with fabric paint.

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While I was looking for another photo I found this one of that white tissue gift wrap that I wrote on years ago. :-) 

Also, this basket came to me from my mother and she received it as a gift. The lady who gave it to her spray painted it blue, as I recall, to make it fresh. This is another way you can repurpose or re-gift a basket. A little paint can make something look quite new. 


Sunday, January 17, 2021

A Few Thoughts On Being A New Creature

 


2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 An elderly lady I knew years ago used to quote this and say, "If you aren't a new creature, you better find out why not." 

Being a new creature in Christ is a big deal. It means more than what we're often lead to believe in this era of Christianity when so many love to embrace the world and the old life.

In our natural way of thinking we make sense of things based on what our past experience has taught us - the environment we grew up in, the places we've lived, how we have interacted with people in various situations, how we have been treated ourselves, our family history (stories, traditions, legends), our culture, our religion, and our national tendencies. Many of these things have errors within them or are wrong altogether for one reason or another.

This is why becoming a new creature in Christ is so important. Old things are passed away, all things are become new. 

In the word of God we now have a source of knowledge, wisdom, and judgment outside of our own limited ideas and viewpoint. We have a way to redefine the things of life more accurately - by God's standard.

We have the Holy Spirit indwelling us who will guide us into all truth if we follow His leading. Jesus Christ said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you." John 16:13-14 

We have a new family, a new and goodly heritage, and a new set of traditions and stories. We have more truth by which to live and the power to live through the Bible and the Holy Ghost. 

Ephesians 1:5-12 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 

Speaking of the Israelites in the O.T. Paul wrote, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1 Corinthians 10:11 These are our stories now as well as Israel's. And because Abraham is our father in faith, we can call the godly ones our people, those who went before us. Galatians 3:7-8 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 

All the things that don't serve us in our walk with God and ministry to others we can now forget and leave behind as Paul did as well. Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 

Becoming a new creature in Christ is a miracle. It is a complete change of focus and viewpoint, but it's also a completely different way to look at the world, others, and ourselves. Nothing is based on the nebulous and uncertain foundation of human experience any more. It is based on the foundation of Jesus Christ, the one and only true foundation worth building upon. It is a completely new way of living.

1 Corinthians 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 

Are you a new creature in Christ, friend? Are the old things passed away? Are all things made new?
If you are a believer, are you living like one? Can others see that you have left the old behind and are walking in newness of life?

We are not meant to be "the same but better." We are meant to be completely new in Christ - delivered and separated from the old life that was on the road to destruction.

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

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Evening Song - Beyond God's Sunset


Psalm 113:3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised. 

Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 


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Friday, January 15, 2021

The Thousand Word Project - Winter Trees and Field


Psalm 96:12-13 Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. 





Photos taken near Kingston, Tenn.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Sermon - Be of Good Cheer

I was pondering what to post for the Sunday post today and had a couple vague ideas. Then I watched this message online today and was so encouraged and challenged that I decided to share it here. I hope it blesses and lifts you up in the Lord.


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Saturday, January 9, 2021

Evening Song - Living by Faith


Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 

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Sunday, January 3, 2021

Worth Repeating - Mom's Collection - My Wish




This post was originally posted here on Jan. 3, 2016. As I was searching for something to post once again for the first Sunday of the year it seemed fitting to use this one as it came from my mom's collection and she has been on my mind so much lately. This poem is also especially appropriate for this new year in particular since we all need these things so much as we face an uncertain future. I hope it blesses you (perhaps again), as it did me. 
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As I was thinking and asking the Lord what to post for the first Sunday of the year, the thought came to look at some of the pieces from Mom’s collection.  This poem was right on top and it is so lovely and grand I knew it was the right one!  May God grant you these things, dear ones in Christ, as we go into this new year.

My Wish

I wish thee Joy!
…much joy around this season;
Not “joys” but Joy, – joy deep and strong and true;
Joy, – inward joy, since surely heart hath reason
To taste much joy where He hath made things new.

I wish thee peace!
…the peace of sins all taken,
All washed away through Christ’s atoning blood;
The peace that rests, untroubled and unshaken,
Since God’s redeeming grace is understood.

I wish thee gladness!
…gladness deep abiding,
Which comes when eyes of faith behold the Lord;
The gladness of a prayerful heart – confiding,
And daily dwelling on God’s precious Word.

I wish thee well!
…in all life’s undertakings!
”God bless thee much!” – this is my heart’s request;
E’en now my heart this simple plea is making:
”God bless thy life, and send thee what is best!”

I wish thee sunshine!
…that of Christ’s dear presence, –
His inward presence, – with thee all the way!
His smile; His love; His joy; Himself; glad sunshine!
Till, in His presence, breaks that Endless Day!

- by J. Danson Smith

Colossians 1:9-14  For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

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 [Photo: Kingston, Tenn. circa 2006]
First published Jan. 3, 2016

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Evening Song - The Longer I Serve Him


Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 

2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 

Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 

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Friday, January 1, 2021

A Friend's First Birthday in Heaven - by Annie Johnson Flint

 


Those who read here or at The Home Maker's Corner regularly will know that my mother went to be with the Lord in 2020. She is not the only one. Among our family, friends, and church we have had or heard of a lot of deaths this year. Many have been Christians, so we have the hope and comfort of looking forward to seeing them again. But the "firsts" after the death of a close loved one are always hard. Today, January 1st, was my mother's first birthday in heaven. It has been a day of sun mixed with rain emotionally for me. I know others are experiencing this as well. I remembered this poem and thought it might be a blessing and help to someone else who has seen a loved one go on to heaven ahead of them. We don't know much about what is going on in heaven for these people, so Miss Annie has taken some poetic license here, but in a blessed way.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 

A Friend's First Birthday in Heaven

We gave thee gifts when thou wert here--
Bright flowers that faded with the day,
And dainty fineries to wear,
And books to read, and games to play;
But now--what shall we bring to thee now?
What can we give thee where thou art?
Gone from us to that larger life,
What dost thou lack, dear heart, sweet heart?

The joy of God is in thy soul,
His peace upon they forehead lies,
And 'round thy feet forever bloom
The fadeless flowers of paradise.
What can we bring but love that grieves
And memories that sadly cling
'Round the dear spot where thou didst dwell,
And sorrowing hope with broken wing?

Nay, couldst thou speak, wouldst thou not say:
"Are these the gifts that honor me?
Bring love that triumphs over death...

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