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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...

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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.


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.] :-)


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.


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.


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. 


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. 

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:

 [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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