Monday, July 29, 2013

Wedding, Cross, VBS, Hotness, Tomatoes

After finally feeling like I was recovering from my URI on Thursday, I had a wedding rehearsal to attend Friday night for my niece.  It was a wonderful rehearsal but I still did not have a lot of energy.  Delicious food!  I was able to meet more of Dale's family and they are sweet people like he is :) 
The wedding was on Saturday and it was beautiful!  I was able to take some photos of the service and the reception and I think my niece and her husband will like seeing them when they return from their honeymoon.  I played the piano for some of the prelude music and Samuel played the violin beautifully for the music during the ceremony.




Reception was great!  Lots of beautiful people, delicious food, fun times, and family and friends!  I love weddings.  I really liked the pastor's message during the ceremony.  It was just about the sweetest wedding I have ever attended :) 

My first cousin had been to the Holy Lands in January and I had asked him to bring me something back if he didn't mind.  He brought me a beautiful cross made from olive wood from Jerusalem.  He also took it to a place (can't remember the name of it but he is going to email me the information) and had someone pray the Lord's Prayer over it.  It is very special to me.  I would love to go to the Holy Lands myself.  He informed me that he will be living there for about a year!  Maybe I could visit this year sometime?



Church came around on Sunday and played the piano for Sunday morning service.  Still not quite energetic but I may have overdone it on the weekend.  I have been feverish at night, not a large fever ...but just enough to make me not rest well.  I do not know if it is still recouperating from this illness, or menopause, or something else.  I just do not feel as well as I usually do.  

Today I prepared 12 pounds of tomatoes and they are cooking down in two crockpots at this very moment...making me hungry :)  I like being hungry though...because it means there is an enjoyment in the satisfaction of that hunger and that is another gift from the Lord.  Three different kinds of tomatoes ....Big Boy, Roma and Cherry Tomatoes.  I plan to mix all of them and make spaghetti sauce to freeze.  I wish we had had more tomatoes but I am not really sure what happened.  My Black Krill just took off but then fizzled out.  I was really looking forward to trying that kind of tomato.  I have plenty of seeds left.  Maybe next year. 


VBS is in its second night.  I really enjoy being the VBS photographer.  :)  It suits me :)   I like capturing the happy faces of children and adults having fun!  


I like being a part of a group of people who love Jesus and want to share the Bible with children.  Tonight was a story about Queen Esther and Haman and Mordecai.  

I love the story of Esther.

I know this is just basically a chronicle of what has been going on but ....it is all I can muster right now.  
Oh!  I also received a hitch bike rack to review  and it is pretty cool.  Now we can take two bikes to ride somewhere...I am thinking this would be a fun date for Donnie and myself.  I need to put my bike in the shop though...but I do not know where a bike shop is.  Mine needs new cables and a new chain. 

Also I received a hummingbird feeder to review...it is very neat...kinda old-fashioned looking.  We will see if we can attract some hummingbirds to the house : )

There are many things coming up ....meetings, more VBS, piano lessons and  I really need to have some coffee with a couple of my friends :) 

Today I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my friends and family at church.  I admire so many of them...Young people starting out, living a life of helping others.  Older people with endless energy, more than I have!  Younger older people who have a gift with children.  A pastor who just keeps going and going and doing and doing all God calls him to do without regard to his own tiredness .  Servants who year after year work tirelessly in the kitchen for all kinds of activities.  It is just good to see so many people pull together to put on a VBS for the kids that they can learn from and enjoy.

I heard God in the whisper that today is the day we have and we need to find the things about today that are His gifts and be thankful.  I heard the whisper that we as Christians are all parts of the body of Christ and each part is necessary for a different function.  




Thursday, July 11, 2013

One of those BIG Thankful Days :)

Today was a day where I could hear the whisper of God in the love of piano and learning music in one of my students.  She is so dedicated and very good after only one year's lessons.  I love hearing her play!  I love seeing her desire to continue to improve at the piano.
I also thank the Lord for letting my oldest son go all day today with only Tylenol in relation to his recent wisdom tooth extraction, and for the kindness of a couple at church to come and visit him and bring him ice cream.  
I thank the Lord today for being able to meet our new neighbor.  
I thank the Lord for a new wonderful crochet pattern for washcloths that I love and for being able to make and send a few of these to Honduras with out Mission team.  
I thank the Lord for the BIG news that as of today we are officially paid off on our house!  No more mortgage!  Yahoo!! 
I thank the Lord for vegetables to share, books to read, glasses to see by and sweet kisses from my little boy.  I thank the Lord for a loving husband and a college age son who always wants to know if there is anything he can do to help me.   I thank the Lord for a mother who calls just to read a special devotion that the Lord spoke to her through to me over the phone.  I thank the Lord for my Daddy, who is always willing to drop by and visit.  
I thank the Lord that He is who He is and that His power is above all powers.  I thank the Lord that He has provided all we need,  I thank the Lord for inspiration to share the gospel with others.  I thank the Lord for His desire to have a relationship with me and for being wiling to go to the cross to make that happen! 
The Creator of this Universe and all things from the beginning of time, before time and through eternity...He wants me to know Him! Amazing.............
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Ephesians 2: 4,5

Monday, July 8, 2013

Trimming Back

Sometimes things are precious to us...even though it is just a thing. I had a tulip tree that started off as a plant sent when my MawMaw died.  I planted it ( I do not have a history of having a green thumb) and surprise!  It thrived!  I always say it is because it has something to do with MawMaw (she did have a green thumb!).  However, this past fall  my husband came in from cutting grass and doing yard work and stated that he had "trimmed it".  I ran out, fearful.  He had cut it back to the ground!  I was so upset!  I had to really pray because it had sentimental meaning for me...after praying I realized that MawMaw was still in the hands of God and if I didn't have the beautiful tulip tree bush that reminded me of her everyday, I still had my memories.  This summer, my husband took me outside and showed me the bush.  It is blooming even prettier than before since his "trimming" it.
I think that is how it is when we let God trim back "things" from our life in their importance.  When we focus on Him, life gets even more beautiful!


Sunday, July 7, 2013

At Colossae

Today we were reviewing some Scripture we are working on together as a family to memorize.  When we started this project I was not sure how much my 5 year old would be able to take in and remember.  As it was Daddy's turn to recite, he got to a part where he paused, trying to remember what words came next. From the floor playing Legos  came E.'s sweet little voice..."At Colossae".  

We all cheered for him.  I think it may have actually embarrassed him a little bit.  But we were just surprised that he could remember a word he doesn't really know and where it fits into the verse! 

I am excited in seeing how the Lord works in the lives of my children!  And others' as well!  That is why I love to read books and blogs about what God is doing or has done in the lives of others.  And our pastor preached on this tonight!  Being thankful for what the Lord is doing in the lives of others.  

This has really been made real to me in the past few weeks.  It can become a big part of granting forgiveness when you are praying for someone who has wronged you, and praying for the Lord to move in that person's heart, and for God to speak to that person clearly and to draw that person to Himself so that His Name would be glorified in some wonderful, unknown way.  

My eldest is in a Bible study at church based on the book Gods At War by Kyle Eidleman (sp).  I picked it up and read a few chapters and it has some good points to think about.  For me to think about.  Points like :  What things upset you the most?  Look at those things and ask why they upset you?  Then see if it is related to putting something ahead of the Lord as God.  

 I am the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
 You shall have no other gods before Me or besides Me.   Deuteronomy 5:6,7

These words speak of having other gods before the Lord God Jehovah.  The way that Kyle writes is that we all worship something.  If it is the Lord God, we are serving Him.  If it is money, we are serving it.  If it is power, we are serving it.  If it is making sure things go the way we want them to go, we are worshipping ourselves.  

I heard God's whisper in the words of Scripture being spoken by a child and in the words of Scripture being uttered by our pastor and in the words of Scripture being written by an author today.  Where did you hear God today?


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Games and Family

A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.    Proverbs 17:22
We love to play games with friends and family.  With a 5 year old and a 17 year old it can be tricky to find games that both like.  Of course sometimes we get together with friends and the younger children play while the older and the adults play games.  That works out well too.  
Playing fun games makes a happy heart, which is good medicine for the soul and body.
This is just a listing of some of our favorite games and fun things to do.

  1. LEGOS:   Legos are fun for EVERYONE!  Children, pre-teens, teens, and adults.  There is just so much imaginative play involved with building with Legos.  We usually tell stories to go along with what we are building so we are building grammer skills and composition skills while playing :)  That makes a homeschooling mom happy! 
  2. UNO SPIN:  This is a game we have found that is a fun twist on the classic UNO game.  Our 5 year old learns matching skills, number identification, color recognition and taking turns and good sportsmanship ( well, we are still working on this one !) and has a ball!  We enjoy the game as well!
  3. UNO BLAST:  This is another great UNO game that we all can play...up to six players can participate and it is much fun!
  4. CHICKEN FOOT:  This is more for the older children and adults but E.  enjoys "helping" to find matches .  Some people call this game "Mexican Train".
  5. A new game we were just introduced to last night that we loved (minus the youngest) is called DUTCH BLITZ.  This one is action packed and keeps you thinking and moving.  
  6. BLANK STORIES:   This game is one we play and it can be played anywhere.  One person starts a story and then leaves a "blank" for the other player to fill in.  Then the first person has to keep building the story based on the inserted components from the other player.  
  7. I SPY:  A classic game that all kids love and is tolerable to the adults as well. 
  8. THE CAT IN THE HAT:  WHAT'S IN THE HAT?   This one we all like.  It is based on a game  we used to play when I was a kid.  We called it What's In The Pillowcase?  But this game is the Cat's Hat and it has three flaps:  a smelling flap, a seeing flap and a touch flap.  You put something in the hat and close up the top and then you have to guess what is in the hat by asking questions that you draw from a stack of cards and by doing certain things, like "Feel of the hat with your feet"  or "Smell of what is in the hat through the nose flap".  
  9. SCATTERGORIES:   We like the regular version of this for the older ones.  E.  can't spell yet so he does not like this one.
  10. IN A PICKLE:  This one can be fun but I think we have just about worn it out. 
So what are some of the games you and your family like?  
This week I heard the whisper of God in finding a happy heart by playing games with our family, our grandparents and our aunts and uncles and cousins.  Where did you hear God's whisper today?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Rain, Rain, Rain

Rain, rain, rain...this summer is the  lushest, greenest summer I can remember in a long time.  It is because of all the rain we have been getting.  Right now it is thundering and raining again.  I am sure many of you are getting lots of rain as well if you live in the Southeast part of the country. I love rain...I love the smell of the rain, the smell of the earth after it rains.
God thunders marvelously with His voice; He does great things which we cannot comprehend. For He says to the snow, Fall on the earth; likewise He speaks to the showers and to the downpour of His mighty rains.  God seals up (stops, brings to a standstill by severe weather) the hand of every man [and now under His seal their hands are forced to inactivity], that all men whom He has made may know His doings (His sovereign power and their subjection to it).  Job 37:5-7
I am thinking about these verses from the Scripture.  The thunder that we hear...it comes from God.  The snow that falls...it falls at His word.  The rains that come are by His desire.  And when we have storms, downpours, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, heavy snows...He is stopping the hands of men from all the activity they are busily going about so that all men, men that He has created, may know His infinite power and their own subjection to it.  

God is not something or someone that we can define and make into what we want to.  We cannot only choose to see His love and His forgiveness.  We must first see His holiness, His power, and His authority over mankind.  God is holy and perfect and cannot abide sin.  We are lowly and sinners and there is no way we can command God, or expect Him to love and forgive us based on our own righteousness because there is none righteous in all the earth.  

Have  you ever told a lie?  What do you call someone who tells a lie?
A liar.
Have you ever stolen anything?  Even something small like a pencil from the office?  What do you call someone who steals something?  A thief.
Jesus says that if you look at a woman (or man) with lust in your heart, you have already committed adultery with that person.  Have you ever lusted after someone in your heart?  What does that make you?  An adulterer.
Have you ever used the name of God as a cuss word?  Do you know what that is?  It is blasphemy.  It is a very serious offense against the Lord of the universes. What does that make you?  A blasphemer.
If you say, "Well, I have only done that once so it isn't that bad."
If someone raped and killed your mother, but that was the first time they had ever done it, would that make it any less of a sin? No.  And the Ten Commandments say, Do not steal.  Do not lie.  Do not commit adultery. Do not take the Name of God in vain.
So if you are a liar, a thief, an adulterer, or a blasphemer should you expect the Lord to let you into heaven when you die? 
No.
Because He is and will be our judge.

God is a righteous Judge, yes, a God Who is indignant every day.  Psalm 7:11


Rise up, O Judge of the earth; render to the proud a fit compensation!  Psalm 94:2

Before the Lord, for He comes, for He comes to judge and govern the earth! He shall judge the world with righteousness and justice and the peoples with His faithfulness and truth.  Psalm 96:13

Now will I shortly pour out My wrath upon you and finish spending My anger against you, and I will judge you according to your ways and will recompense you with punishment for all your abominations.  Ezekiel 7:8

 [Jesus said] Yet even if I do judge, My judgment is true [My decision is right]; for I am not alone [in making it], but [there are two of Us] I and the Father, Who sent Me.
 In your [own] Law it is written that the testimony (evidence) of two persons is reliable and valid.  John 8:16-17 
So we are guilty before the Almighty Judge because all of us have not kept His commandments, and if we have broken even one, one time, we have not kept the Law.  
What is the punishment for this?  It is death.  God is holy.  God is just.  Would you want a rapist to go free?  No.  He sinned.  He must pay the cost.  God is so holy that there is no level of sin.  All sin is the same to Him.  There is no little or big sin.
But Someone has stepped in to pay the fine for our sins for us.  Jesus Christ, God's own Son, came in human form and lived a sinless life and gave Himself as a sacrifice for us, dying on a cruel cross.  He has paid the fine for our sins.  If we accept His gift of salvation and if we repent, turning away from our sins, and if we confess with our mouths that we want Jesus to cover our sins and make us new creations, we will be saved.
And from Jesus Christ the faithful and trustworthy Witness, the Firstborn of the dead [first to be brought back to life] and the Prince (Ruler) of the kings of the earth. To Him Who ever loves us and has once [for all] loosed and freed us from our sins by His own blood...Revelation 1:5
We need to be aware of our sinfulness and know our need for a Savior.  Jesus will cleanse us from our unrighteousness in the only way possible, through His blood, if we confess our sins to Him and ask to be saved.
Once we belong to the Lord, we are His and our lives are changed.  We no longer have license to sin just because we have been forgiven.
 We know [absolutely] that anyone born of God does not [deliberately and knowingly] practice committing sin, but the One Who was begotten of God carefully watches over and protects him [Christ’s divine presence within him preserves him against the evil], and the wicked one does not lay hold (get a grip) on him or touch [him].  I John 5:18
Beloved, do not imitate evil, but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen (discerned or experienced) God [has enjoyed no vision of Him and does not know Him at all].  3 John 1:11
When I see the rains and hear the thunders, I am reminded of the holiness, the sovereign power of God.  I see the heavy rains push the mud and dirt up onto the plants, just as the power of God pushes the knowledge of our filthiness up into our sight, to let us know that we are sinners.  And then I see the rains coming down, washing the mud and dirt from the flowers and the leaves, and I am reminded of the flow of blood from Jesus Christ side and His sacrifice that washes me clean in the eyes of God.  Thank You, Jesus, for the law that brought me to You, and for your paying of the price for my sins.  Keep me in Your Word, and in Your path, Lord.  Keep me from sinning, Lord Jesus, through your Holy Spirit and through the reading of Your Word the Bible and through fellowship with other true believers.  Amen.
Today I heard the whisper loudly in the thunder and softly in the cleansing rains. Where did you hear God whisper today?








Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Call to the Rain

 The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
 The Lord shall command the blessing upon you in your storehouse and in all that you undertake. And He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
 The Lord will establish you as a people holy to Himself, as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways.   Deuteronomy 28: 7-9

The garden is coming in...green tomatoes are growing quickly.  Purple okra that I can't wait to try.  We have even been blessed with squash this summer.
Potatoes that are yummy!!  I canned a lot more of those this year and will probably be doing even more a little later.


Last night, my husband and I drove over to the land, just the two of us. My older son stayed home with the little one.  We sat in the truck at the land, rolled down the windows and watched to see if any deer came out.  That is a slow way to spend time.  I don't often get to slow down like that.  

As we sat, we talked.  We don't often get to do that either.  We did not see any deer.  But we saw a little dove walking on the ground in front of us. We saw amazing cloud formations and felt the cool breeze.  We heard the coo of the dove.  And we heard toads, singing to each other.  I have not heard this before.  One started up, then another, then it seemed like an entire choir of toads were croaking.

"They are calling to the rain," my husband said.

"I've never heard that," I replied.

"It usually rains after toads do that," he offered.

Sure enough it started raining on our way home.


****************
Today the whole family went to the land for a picnic supper.  On the way out of the drive, we checked the brambles to see if the blackberries were ready yet.  Cannot wait to make some blackberry jam!  The bushes are loaded!!  Still need to ripen up a bit but lots were already ready.  So my husband jumped out and picked several for us.  Yummy!  Sweetness right off the land.  And from such a thorny plant.

Today I heard God in the whisper of toad songs, the fullness of a filled "storehouse",  and the sweetness of a plump blackberry eaten fresh picked from the brambles.  Where did you hear God today?




Monday, July 1, 2013

Catawba


For several years now my husband has told us about "Catalpa" or "Catawba" worms.  He has told stories of the wonderful bait they make for fishing...of how you can fish off the same "worm"  several times...of how you can freeze them and then thaw them out when you are ready to go fishing.  
I had never seen one because they only are on Catawba trees.  They hatch there, eat the leaves, and lay their eggs there.
There are not very many Catawba trees around here.  He says there used to be a lot more than there are now.  But there are two on some land his daddy owns and a couple of days we drove by there and he got out to check the Catawba tree.  He came back to the car with a huge leaf in his hand and a beautiful yellow and black caterpillar...the famous Catawba Worm!!
I petted its back and it was like velvet.  Eli wanted nothing to do with it. LOL!
To me , it was like meeting a legendary animal...I had heard so much about it and never seen one.
When we got home I looked up some information on these and found that they eat all the leaves of the Catawba tree...but this does not hurt the tree.  It simply puts on more leaves.  The Catawba worm can strip a tree 3-4 times in one summer.  Scientists say that no other tree could survive this but the Catawba tree does.
I want to go back , get some of these worms and put them in the freezer for when we go fishing later this month.  I want to experience for myself how the fish like them so well.
I also read that their defense mechanisms are frass and puke...so if we don't take frozen ones, if we just take fresh...I will let Donnie bait my hook for me ...LOL!
The frass is supposedly great fertilizer for tomato plants!
I heard the whisper of the Creator  in the beauty of the catawba worm.