Sunday, November 3, 2013

Soldiers of Christ, Arise

Soldiers of Christ, arise, and put your armor on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies through His eternal Son.
Strong in the Lord of hosts, and in His mighty power,
Who in the strength of Jesus trusts is more than conqueror.

Stand then in His great might, with all His strength endued,
But take, to arm you for the fight, the panoply of God;
That, having all things done, and all your conflicts passed,
Ye may o’ercome through Christ alone and stand entire at last.

Stand then against your foes, in close and firm array;
Legions of wily fiends oppose throughout the evil day.
But meet the sons of night, and mock their vain design,
Armed in the arms of heavenly light, of righteousness divine.

Leave no unguarded place, no weakness of the soul,
Take every virtue, every grace, and fortify the whole;
Indissolubly joined, to battle all proceed;
But arm yourselves with all the mind that was in Christ, your Head.

But, above all, lay hold on faith’s victorious shield;
Armed with that adamant and gold, be sure to win the field:
If faith surround your heart, Satan shall be subdued,
Repelled his every fiery dart, and quenched with Jesu’s blood.

Jesus hath died for you! What can His love withstand?
Believe, hold fast your shield, and who shall pluck you from His hand?
Believe that Jesus reigns; all power to Him is giv’n:
Believe, till freed from sin’s remains; believe yourselves to Heav’n.

To keep your armor bright, attend with constant care,
Still walking in your Captain’s sight, and watching unto prayer.
Ready for all alarms, steadfastly set your face,
And always exercise your arms, and use your every grace.

Pray without ceasing, pray, your Captain gives the word;
His summons cheerfully obey and call upon the Lord;
To God your every want in instant prayer display,
Pray always; pray and never faint; pray, without ceasing, pray!

In fellowship alone, to God with faith draw near;
Approach His courts, besiege His throne with all the powers of prayer:
Go to His temple, go, nor from His altar move;
Let every house His worship know, and every heart His love.

To God your spirits dart, your souls in words declare,
Or groan, to Him Who reads the heart, the unutterable prayer:
His mercy now implore, and now show forth His praise,
In shouts, or silent awe, adore His miracles of grace.

Pour out your souls to God, and bow them with your knees,
And spread your hearts and hands abroad, and pray for Zion’s peace;
Your guides and brethren bear for ever on your mind;
Extend the arms of mighty prayer, ingrasping all mankind.

From strength to strength go on, wrestle and fight and pray,
Tread all the powers of darkness down and win the well fought day.
Still let the Spirit cry in all His soldiers, “Come!”
Till Christ the Lord descends from high and takes the conquerors home.


Words by Charles Wesley

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Autumn or Fall: The Favorite Of Seasons.

Though we still have yet to make the first smores of the season I have been enjoying the pastimes that fall brings. My family and I really enjoy this season. There are the cool and crisp walks, the baked goods to prepare, and the countless things that are a trademark of autumn. We've enjoyed canning applesauce, yummy fresh greens, and golden sunsets and blue skies. (We look forward to processing five pumpkins...very large pumpkins too. But there is nothing better than fresh pumpkin and roasted pumpkin seeds!) Tea is a staple on cold mornings and the colorful leaves bring me happy delight. Then there are the sweaters, the boots and the scarves to add to the list. Though I seem to end up posting about fall every year I never tire boasting in the joys of autumn and this season makes it even more evident of the creativity of our Creator. What inspiration and happiness God brings and shares through his creation. What an awesome God and Savior we serve who gives us so many blessings and joys! What do you like best about autumn?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dew From Heaven


His heavens shall drop down dew. Deuteronomy 33:28

 

"What the dew in the East is to the world of nature, that is the influence of the Spirit in the realm of grace. How greatly do I need it! Without the Spirit of God I am a dry and withered thing. I droop, I fade, I die. How sweetly does this dew refresh me! When once favored with it I feel happy, lively, vigorous, elevated. I want nothing more. The Holy Spirit brings me life and all that life requires. All else without the dew of the Spirit is less than nothing to me: I hear, I read, I pray, I sing, I go to the table of Communion, and I find no blessing there until the Holy Ghost visits me. But when He bedews me, every means of grace is sweet and profitable.

What a promise is this for me! “His heavens shall drop down dew.” I shall be visited with grace. I shall not be left to my natural drought, or to the world’s burning heat, or to the sirocco of satanic temptation. Oh, that I may at this very hour feel the gentle, silent, saturating dew of the Lord! Why should I not! He who has made me to live as the grass lives in the meadow will treat me as He treats the grass; He will refresh me from above. Grass cannot call for dew as I do. Surely, the Lord who visits the unpraying plant will answer to His pleading child."
C.H. Spurgeon

This meditation by Charles Spurgeon refreshed and encouraged me.
Lately life has been busy and different. God continues to teach me each day. Each new season and each new task reminds me how much we need a loving Savior to guard and guide our fragile lives. When I am weak He is strong, when I am discouraged He brings me joy. What a comfort we have in Jesus! There is no greater joy than what we find in Him. He is our love, our life, our salvation!

What has God been teaching you?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why?

The question must be asked.

Why? Why do I have a facebook, a pinterest, an instragram, a blog?
These questions are what I must ask myself so very often.

Am I seeking attention or fulfillment when I blog? Or am I trying to bring more focus to Christ? 

Am I making my computer time and social media time an idol? Or am I giving Christ my all?

Am I engaging in idle chatter? Or am I building up those around me with words of wisdom?

I have countless ideas for posts. I have many photos and cutesy little words that I could share, but almost every time I'm about to post something my mind goes to the million other productive things I could be spending my time doing.

I must ask, each time I roll my chair up to the computer is my focus on vegging, or is it focused on my Lord and Savior?

When I string a few words together and add a vintage or dreamy picture am I focused on boasting in God or gaining popularity? 

Why is it so difficult to battle against idle things and time wasters?

I read a very convicting, very thought provoking and encouraging article the other day.
I really needed to hear it.

I'd encourage you to read it, too.

It's from an online magazine called Set Apart Girl. The article is called "Living For Eternity: Honoring Christ On the Internet".


Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.
Psalm 119:37

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Altering a Kimono Sleeve

I was at Walmart and saw a nice blue dress on sale. It was $9, which is what I usually pay at goodwill. (My all time favorite place to shop!) The sleeves were a little weird, but I thought I could probably fix them. I was itching to sew something! Since sewing as a hobby seems to be getting more and more expensive, I jump at a chance to alter. The sleeves are basically kimono sleeves. I didn't like them for two reasons. First it made the dress look like pajamas. Second you could see too much skin when moving my arm. I brainstormed and finally decided to just gather the entire top two shoulders. This worked great! Then I sewed the bottom edge of the armholes.

Here's how I did it. Decide your seam allowance and how much you're going to hem in the process of gathering. (I hemmed one inch on the top.) Also remember the more fabric you take off at the top, the shorter the finished dress or shirt will be and the smaller the head hole. (I learned this the hard way and had to stitch rip my seam.)


#1.Turn the dress inside out and run two gathering threads on the top of each sleeve.

#2.Then pull the threads on either side of the seam. Gather as evenly as possible and as much as you want the length of the sleeve to be. Do this on both sleeves.

#3. Now sew a straight line right below your gathering threads. Make sure the gathers are flat.

#4. Trim the excess fabric and zig-zag stitch the edge.

This is what it should look like right side out.  

Because the dress was a little large on me, I stitched the armhole an inch on both sides. 
Before
After 



Have you altered anything? I'd love to hear your adventures!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How to eat a kiwi...

Cut it in half and scoop out that kiwi goodness with a spoon!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

My Latest Sewing Endeavor...

So I started a skirt back in December and I finally finished it! Time really got away from me. I finally hemmed it on Saturday. I got the fabric from a friend and I made up the pattern. (Sort of)

One of my other skirts was too wide. For a while I wore it with a safety pin. Finally I decided to see if I could take it in. As I measured it I realized it was one panel too large! So I took out a panel (Lots of stitch ripping...) and used it as a pattern for another skirt. I added a zipper and a yolk for the top and then I was done...well almost. I realized after putting all the panels together that it was too big. The panels on the first skirt were two different sizes. Thankfully I was able to fix this by taking out one panel. Then I over stitched the seams and hemmed it. A simple but feminine skirt. But enough about the skirt, here it is...


 Have you made any sewing endeavors?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Metaphorical Shelf

I have many childhood memories of playing dollhouse with my sisters. We had huge imaginations. We always had new stories to capture through our dollhouse people. And when we weren't playing dolls we would pretend we were princesses, spies, cashiers, mommies, waitresses, and babysitters. We had picnics, frilly dress up clothes, fort houses, too many dolls, and too much fun. We were girls. We've grown up and our childish play has been put on a metaphorical shelf. We kept memories of our youths in our hearts and we've kept the dollhouse. 

Now that our two-year-old sister is old enough we took the dollhouse out again. Since she has three older brothers we weren't sure what she would enjoy playing with. Some have said that she'd be a "tomboy"; tough and ruddy. Although she's always been determined even through her traumatic birth she's a very happy, healthy girl. She learns fast like Abby, is neat like Maggie and loves dolls like I used to. She'll sit for hours putting together her house. Positioning everything just right. It's so neat to see her mommy instincts show through. She brings her babies to lunch and to nap time. She pretends like my sisters and I used to. She loves to prepare pretend food and clean the dishes. We're so blessed to have her to brighten up each day. You could say that we have encouraged her to be a mommy, not giving her a chance to "be herself". But that wouldn't be the whole truth. She's a girl, because that's what God made her.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. Titus 2:3-5 NASB

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Gluten Free Oat Muffins



 I made some gluten free oat muffins using this recipe. I used zucchini instead of apple and I also added flax seed and chia seed. I've made them twice using different sweeteners and a different veggie or fruit. (First time was pumpkin) It's fun to experiment with this base. Although they don't rise quite as well as gluten muffins I still think they're delicious. Plus, I don't have to get any expensive or different gluten free flours to make them! I've been going gluten free for three weeks now. I hope to tell you more about it soon. It's been a neat journey.

Do you have any fun, healthy recipes to share?

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Christ is Risen

 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,  and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” 
              John 11:25-26 (NASB)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Making of a Health Nut


 It all started with the webinar we watched.(Which I would love to write a review on! If you can, you should definitely order it!) Then it was the nutrition book for school... and it went from there. I've been reading up on all sorts of healthy foods, cosmetics and exercises. I'm only at the beginning of my nuttiness, but I'm pretty much obsessed with health now.

So I've switched soaps, shampoos, exercises and I'm trying my best to eat healthy. After I discovered how many toxins, (I mean many, many toxins) and chemicals are in what we eat, drink and put on our faces and hair I was definitely more willing to try to be more healthy. I have pretty bad acne so I've cut out sugar, been drinking more water in hopes that it will improve. (Next is gluten!) It was hard at first. Trust me! I love sugar. After a while the cravings are not as strong though. There's a book I'd recommend reading called Green Beauty Guide. And this one with natural body care recipes. (Both I found at the library) I do not endorse or agree with everything in these books, but both are good resources.

I switched shampoos and soap. I've only been using baking soda for my shampoo and apple cider vinegar for my conditioner. (You can read about how to use it here..) My hair feels great!

I've been learning more about healthy food choices and how to create delicious meals with them.
Very slowly I am growing my knowledge. It's been a fun adventure and I hope I will continue learning on this brought subject of health. I hope to post more of my experiences, too.

I would encourage you to look into what your putting on and in your body. I thought I was pretty healthy, but there are so many toxins in the food and cosmetics that we use! Just remember although it might be overwhelming at first, start where you are and start small. Maybe just start by cutting out soda or switching soaps or shampoo.

In all that we do we must remember that healthy living should not be an idol. Healthful living should be inspired by the fact that our body's our God's temples and we should be good stewards of them and the resources He blesses us with.








Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. 1 Corinthian 3:16-17

 Do you have any advice or good resources on how to be healthy? I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cinnamon Rolls

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
    the name of the Lord is to be praised. 
   Psalm 113:3

Sunday, January 20, 2013

New Beginnings: rain and sunshine

The picture above is of the house plants on the front porch back in June. We had a large rain shower and put all the house plants out to be properly cleaned of dust. The last few days have been filled with rain. Rain, gray skies, and gray moods. Plus the yard does not look nearly as green as it did in June, but before I finish my thought:

I've noticed that many people (and myself) tend to take the holidays as a time to slack off, eat what they shouldn't, stay up late, scratch schedule and productivity with excuses for celebrating and "...But it's Christmas!". Then when New Year's eve ends we get back to the grind, frantically looking for a sheet of paper to scribble our resolutions on as we start over...again. I am not trying to write a guilt trip-I'm to blame, too.

It's a new year! January is a special month to refresh, rejuvenate and reevaluate our life and priorities.
Schedules begin their familiar hum and holiday sweets disappear. No. It's not a good thing that we slacked. (I am talking to myself here) We should be constantly guarding ourselves against laziness and making each holiday and break, more about Christ and less about our enjoyment. Let us not be discouraged or weary.

The past few days have been making me think that sometimes God sends rain on our lives.  Refreshing? Yes. Rejuvanating? Yes. Sometimes God sends hard times to strengthen our faith. If we get into bad habits and get out of good habits, God will continue to grow us, strengthen us, stretch us and discipline us. When your nice and healthy with foliage and greenery, rain is wonderful. Growth is seen quickly. When plants are dead and rain comes -especially in the Winter- growth is slow and sometimes the rain might even freeze the plants. But as with rain and clouds the sun will come out and joy, health, and strength will abide in our hearts.

As we spend each day serving God, we will all grow and learn. (Maybe learn a few lessons the hard way) Through this year there will be rain, clouds and sunshine, and God will be our strength and our joy.

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 
                     1 Corinthians 3:7

How is God growing you?